Plot Summary: A real estate developer encounters trouble from a unique source…the local animals who don’t want their homes destroyed.
Reason for the Rating: Some rude humor, mild language and brief smoking.
When Dan Sanders (Brendan Fraser) takes control over the development of a section of Oregon woodland, he isn’t anticipating any trouble. He works for a “green” company that is concerned with the protection of the environment…until the local habitat gets in the way of building, that is. Let’s face it, blowing up a beaver dam can be justified, especially when the beavers weren’t “home” at the time.
But the locals (the raccoons, skunks, birds, and others who live in the community) aren’t just dumb, defenseless animals. No, this is the smartest group of wildlife you’ve ever seen. While they look cute and innocent, they are a bit more wily than you might expect.
Dan and his wife Tammy (Brooke Shields) have moved with their teenage son, Tyler (Matt Prokop), from Chicago for a year to complete Phase 1 of Rocky Springs, a new housing development. Tammy has settled into her new teaching job, but Tyler isn’t so happy about leaving his friends and Chicago for the quiet life of the wilderness. But a year can be tolerated…3 months down, and only 9 months to go. And then Dan’s boss, Neil Lyman (Ken Jeong) unexpectedly promotes Dan to oversee the completion of Phase 2 of the new community, an expansive suburb with a shopping mall, and extends their stay for another four years. Dan’s family isn’t so enthusiastic about the new plans, and neither is the local wildlife.
The first animal to overhear of the developments is a raccoon, who seems to be the leader of the pack. With the help of all the neighborhood animals, he begins to torment Dan day and night. Birds peck all night on his windows, skunks unleash their scent in his car (with Dan inside), steal all his clothes, and trap him inside a port-a-john. And that’s just the beginning of the suffering the animals inflict upon poor Dan. The worst is that his family and co-workers think he’s going crazy. Let’s face it, who would believe animals could band together and intentionally torture a man?
Clearly, this is a movie for children. Small children. While there is plenty of humor you may find yourself chuckling over, most of it is simply silliness and the kind of slapstick young elementary kids will out and out laugh over. Birds unleashing poop bombs, sprinklers spraying Dan in the crotch, Dan wearing his wife's pink sweat suit. While it’s not complete agony to watch this movie (unlike other kid movies I’ve seen), Furry Vengeance is a movie you will see FOR your kids, and not yourself. But that’s part of being a parent, right?
I did find the eco-friendly/going green theme a bit much, especially since this is a kid movie. Kind of like when Bob the Builder launched its recycling campaign (“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”), I find myself puzzled over the politically correct message of the movie. Do Kindergarteners or 2nd graders really understand what a “green company” is? Do they care about being “eco-friendly” and being concerned about where a house is built? Maybe they should, but I found myself thinking, “Why can’t they make a movie that just says, ‘Be kind to animals?'" Let kids be kids and let the adults worry about the other stuff.
Your kids will love this movie. They will laugh at the silliness and you will grin at their joyful smiles.
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• What was the funniest thing the animals did to Dan?
• What would you have done if you were Dan?
• Why do you think it makes God happy when we take care of the plants, trees, and animals?
Note: All movie-related graphics in this column are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective movie studios.