Open Season review

Forest critters get payback for Bambi’s mom in this mildly diverting but ultimately rather aggravating cartoon from the Sony stable. Basically it’s Madagascar again, with Martin Lawrence’s domesticated grizzly forced to reawaken dormant natural instincts to survive the great outdoors and trigger-happy hunters. As a wise-cracking deer, Ashton Kutcher plays Donkey to Lawrence’s Shrek, while Billy Connolly voices the obligatory squirrel (see Ice Age , Over The Hedge and Hoodwinked).

Shunning nature-doc realism for exaggerated animal antics, the trio of directors aim for Tex Avery zaniness and a slightly adult feel (there’s a running gag about bears shitting in woods, for example). In the end, however, the painful lack of originality defeats them, along with Lawrence’s lazy, frequently indistinct drawl. If he can’t be arsed, then why should we?




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