Sunday, August 3, 2008

Strange Wilderness

This movie was highly idiotic, and I kind of feel like an idiot myself for liking it as much as I did. But I couldn't help it, and I ended up laughing as much as I have in a long time. The cast isn't huge, but practically everybody you see is recognizable from some other dumb comedy, and they all come together to create a perfect storm of idiotic, humorous personalities. Most of them are veterans of Happy Madison productions (which is Adam Sandler's company, so you kind of get where the attitude comes from), which also includes the director, Fred Wolf. He kind of takes the casual, sit-back-and-watch approach, as the movie is dominated more by over-the-top, silly performances than anything that seems planned or rehearsed. Steve Zahn is the main character, and as always, he makes the most of the material. This is probably the best I've ever seen him, he manages to be both the collected leader of the group while still having a bunch of great character moments. Jonah Hill plays a bizarre character that never really says anything of value, and other people like Justin Long do a good job with little substance to work with.

The plot of the movie is actually a bit more complicated than it has to be. It's about the crew of a nature show trying to save it from cancellation by tracking down Bigfoot and doing an episode about him. Their quest takes them all over the place, as they have to get money and find different people. It doesn't seem to matter much, as they just end up doing the same dumb things over and over while making strange comments. There are a few bits of unnecessarily grotesque genital-related physical comedy, but it doesn't end up hurting the movie. My favorite parts are when Zahn narrates nature footage, which are always filled with inaccuracies and plenty of good laughs. The ending is also pretty abrupt and unusual. In no way am I recommending this to anyone who wants to watch something of value, but as far as moronic comedies go, it's one of the best I've seen in a while.

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