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Open Season 3

1 rating: 2.0
A movie directed by Cody Cameron

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Tags: Movies
Director: Cody Cameron
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family
Release Date: 25 January 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
1 review about Open Season 3

Wearing the Charm of the Original Very Thin

  • Feb 4, 2011

When you think of milking an animated film franchise for all it’s worth, usually DreamWorks comes to mind with properties like Shrek; that started out so original and comical but ended up feeling thin and worn out.  Sony usually manages to duck the gun on such allegations because of the fact that they have such a smaller computer generated library in comparison but if the Open Season series is any indication, perhaps the finger need be pointed in their direction as well.

The funny thing, to me anyway, is that the first Open Season (2006) was an entirely run-of-the-mill affair that did its best to hang with the likes of similar “talking animal” CG pieces like the Madagascar(s), Over the Hedge, The Wild and so on.  The visuals were passable (but never astounding), the plot decent (but nothing overly clever) and the characters, ah yes, the characters were pretty darn good.  A lot of this credit is undoubtedly due to the casting choices: Martin Lawrence as the house-broken grizzly Boog, Ashton Kutcher as the obnoxious deer sidekick Eliot, Gary Sinise as the redneck hunter Shaw, and Debra Messing as Boog’s caretaker Beth.  In short good characters managed to overcome the limitations of the plot structure and the humor found therein was genuinely appealing.

Then came the sequel.  2008’s Open Season 2 was much, much weaker by comparison.  Sony opted for a second rate cast, presumably to keep the budget down, bypassed the theatrical route (direct-to-dvd), and pretty much cut every corner possible in the production process.  It had a little bit of residual charm but it was quite clear that Sony was simply capitalizing on the names/ appeal of the original.

Enter 2010’s Open Season 3.  How anyone could have figured replacing the B-list cast of the second film with a strictly C-list cast, cutting down the visuals budget and stretching the already paper-thin premise even further could result in anything short of disastrous is anybody’s guess.  And disastrous it is!

This time Boog gets stiffed by all of his friends on an annual “guys only” retreat and ends up trading places with a devious grizzly in the Russian circus.  I wish to stretch this synopsis into a full paragraph, but no exaggeration: that’s about it.  Perhaps I should also add that the domesticated cast (the dogs and cats) finds out that Boog’s in the circus and rally to mount a rescue attempt but this is it boys and girls…  Modern story telling at its finest.

The show’s production crew must have known that they had virtually nothing to work with here as indicated by the decision to revisit gags done to death the first two times around.  Prepare for more abused rabbits, trashing of the mini-mart, and bad puns with Mr. Weenie’s misguided family structure.  Further taking away whatever attempts at honest humor that the first film established, Open Season 3 makes the move to slap stick scenes complete with “cartoon” sound effects seemingly copied and pasted directly from Loony Toons.

The pacing is abysmal but then again re-read my plot synopsis and then try to stretch that across 75-minutes.  Naturally scenes are going to meander around relying upon clichés, bad puns and sorry gags to keep young viewers involved.  Adults will often find themselves involuntarily cringing at the onscreen floundering.

Perhaps this would simply be considered a substandard affair if not for the fact that it completely desiccates what little charm remained of its characters after their second outing.  Formerly 3-dimensional characters are reduced to their absolute lowest denominator this time around: The once goofy but innocent Eliot has been condensed to a blathering moron, the antagonist Toy Poodle Fifi returns short a couple gonads with a whole bunch of neutering gags, and even the ever-chuckle-inducing Patrick Warburton (David Puddy of Seinfeld fame) has been axed as the overly-buff deer Ian.

In all this is a sad display of what happens when a corporation discovers that one of their franchises has earned a place in pop-culture strong enough succeed by namesake alone then decides to exploit it for all its worth.  This one may be passable to very young viewers or individuals easily amused by simple visual gags but everyone else (especially fans of the original film) will undoubtedly be left wanting their 75-minutes back.

Wearing the Charm of the Original Very Thin Wearing the Charm of the Original Very Thin Wearing the Charm of the Original Very Thin Wearing the Charm of the Original Very Thin

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February 13, 2011
Yeah picked this up but I have been putting it off for other things, great review.
February 15, 2011
Thanks again FM_A: Go into this one with low expectations and you may not be let down. For whatever reason I half-expected this one to resemble the original and, yea, not so much. Thanks again for the read!
February 04, 2011
man! I am surprised that this franchise actually reached a third movie. I am impressed that you managed to stay level-headed in the face of a bad movie, buddy! Thanks again for the warning!
February 10, 2011
I'm with you! They bang these ones out fast. I've yet to see any of them! LOL!
February 10, 2011
Ad- check the original one if you have the urge to enjoy some talking animal comedy. The next two, only if you're a masochist! Thanks for the read!! :)
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