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Open Season IMAX

So-so family films are about as common as glass on a suburban beach, so its nice to discover one that hasn’t been written with the PC playing autopilot. And though “Open Season” doesn’t raise any flags when it comes to breathtaking new forms of animation – though the IMAX version of the film is pretty darn sweet – or storyline, it succeeds because of its determination to keep both tykes and adults awake without the aid of plastic pegs on the peepers.


Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing, Paul Westerberg, Gary Sinise, Jon Favreau, Patrick Warburton

So-so family films are about as common as glass on a suburban beach, so its nice to discover one that hasn’t been written with the PC playing autopilot. And though “Open Season” doesn’t raise any flags when it comes to breathtaking new forms of animation – though the IMAX version of the film is pretty darn sweet – or storyline, it succeeds because of its determination to keep both tykes and adults awake without the aid of plastic pegs on the peepers.

Granted, the alarm bells sound when one hears whose providing the main characters’ voices in the movie – Yep, Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher. Two actors that usually have most critics – and audiences, for that matter – heading for whatever else is showing at the same complex at the same time. If you’re oblivious to their attachment, you’ll be about as happy as someone – say a thirty-something critic – that has walked into the theatre knowing they are involved. What sounds about as excruciating as having your tonsils yanked through your rear, ends up being one of the most pleasant family films of the festive season. And no, Lawrence’s voice doesn’t want to make your ram a 2B pencil through your ear just to ‘make it stop’.

In the film, Boog (Martin Lawrence), a grizzly bear with no survival skills, has his perfect world in the tranquil town of Timberline turned upside-down when he meets Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), a scrawny, fast-talking wild mule deer.

Knowing their first foray into animation is an important one – FOX were tomato red from the reception their early animation effects got, you may recall? – Sony has obviously put a lot into this effort. The jokes are tight and legitimately funny, the script is surprisingly solid for a film of this type, the music is both bouncy fitting, and the characters are both lovable and memorable. A couple in particular – and typically, not necessarily the lead characters – are bound to be audience favourites. As Boog and Elliot though, Lawrence and Kutcher are actually quite good. Whether it’s because we don’t see their faces, or whether it’s because this film actually has an audience (unlike a lot of their other efforts), they seem to be really living these two characters.

And while the film doesn’t set any new standards with its CGI execution, it does look a treat. The colours are bright and vibrant, the detail is noticeably apparent from the first frame, and the backdrops look as real as the film’s graphically-designed countryside.

More so though, the filmmakers have gone the right way about things by making sure to make a film that appeals to both children and adults alike. Kids will laugh at a lot of stuff, but adults will giggle just as much – if not more.

“Open Season” could be the best family film of its type since “Toy Story” – or your antlers back.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris

About Caffeinated Clint

The writer/publicist/producer who wears the editor hat on Moviehole. Favorite films include "Say Anything...", "The Hunt for Red October", "Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Die Hard", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Young Guns", "American Psycho", "Back to the Future" and the "Star Wars" series.
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