"Yogi Bear" Movie Review

12/22/2010 Posted by Admin

"Yogi Bear"

Movie Review

Directed by Eric Brevig, Written by Jeffrey Ventimilia, Joshua Sternin, and Brad Copeland, Rated PG, 80-minutes.

By our guest blogger, Matt Schimkowitz

It was only a matter of time before the remake police grabbed Yogi Bear by the tie and dragged him across the mud of Jellystone Park. The result may not be the worst offender of these adaptations, but it’s right up there.

2010’s "Yogi Bear" bores the audience with redundant jokes and incessant catch phrases. Director Eric Brevig squeezes the life from the basket thief, who boasts an intelligence higher than the average bear. 

So, you know, it’s just a shame we can’t say as much for the film.

"Yogi Bear" places the character in modern times, as he racks his brain for new ways to steal the ever- elusive pic-a-nic basket. With a soft touch, he’s pursued by the eager, yet woefully incompetent, Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh), who fumbles between catching Yogi (Dan Aykroyd) and flirting with a documentarian (Anna Farris), who is researching the strange -- but apparently, not that strange -- talking bear.

Shoehorned into the plot is a local mayor (Andrew Daly), who looks to sell the park to agricultural developers. In response, Yogi, Boo Boo (Justin Timberlake) and Smith band together to stop him.

While this isn’t much more than any "Yogi Bear" film should be, it never really seems to get off the ground. Stealing picnic baskets works for about 10 minutes, but after 90 or so of the same gag, things start to get a bit more trying.

Smith himself doesn’t offer much of a human touch to the film. Cavanagh plays him with such soulless hyperbole that it should lose even the most focused of six-year-olds. He engages in a dull tennis match with his emotions, repeatedly bouncing from frustrated to star struck.

Cavanagh can hardly be blamed for a lack of enthusiasm as the actors frequently stumble over the film’s incessant punning. Screenwriters Jeffrey Ventimilia, Joshua Sternin and Brad Copeland devised an unbearable script that finds the performers struggling to say their lines with conviction.  The lot of it slows the plot with their awkward delivery.

Introducing a new generation to these characters makes all the sense in the world, but why put it on the big screen? Yogi’s picnic gag is funny in small doses but, much like his Chipmunk brethren, inflating these simple pleasures into a feature-length movie is disastrous.

Unfortunately, like Yogi’s hunger, I see no end in sight for these uninspired adaptations.

Grade: D+

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  1. sarah said...

    Many of my co-workers at DISH have not agreed with this movie. When I was growing up I loved Yogi. I always wanted to show my daughter what I watched when I was growing up and thought this movie would be great. I think since I have seen some good reviews I will be ordering it on PPV in HD for my daughter and me to see!