Friday, March 28, 2014

D is for 'Dumb Fucking Dog'

More like a stain...
As a young child I did often watch ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’.  That being said, I never even heard of ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ until I saw that it was being made into a children’s movie this year and heard the swell of groans from fans of the original show who were determined to hate this movie before the opening credits were through.  I thought that the concept and the trailer looked really intriguing and ripe with potential and so, despite the collective moaning, I was excited for this.

My kids were too.

While many balked at the film for doing no justice to their nostalgia, I couldn’t grade the film on that basis because I had none.  I was walking in blind, and for me that was the best way to do so.  I was wholly prepared to love this film and be its sole champion.

I hated this movie.

It’s funny.  When the film ended I looked at my wife and rolled my eyes and she asked me what was wrong and I said “you liked that?” and she said “it was cute” and I just shook my head.  Cute is fine, but this movie was just offensively bad.  From a pure storytelling narrative, the film is a messy failure, but it also fails on so many moral and parental levels that I found myself almost wanting to get up and leave, children in tow, because subjecting my children and their spongy minds to this honestly scared me.  I mean, I don’t want any of this to rub off on them.  If that were to happen, that would make my job as ‘parent’ so much harder.

I have a hard enough time as it is.


Listen closely Sherman, I'm only going to make sense once.
The story centers on a smart dog who adopts a boy because he was too smart to ever be adopted by a boy himself when he was young.  This dog, Mr. Peabody, is so smart that he has created a time machine called The Way Back, which he uses to take his son, Sherman, to experience history in an attempt to broaden his mind and prepare him for school, which he is getting ready to start.  Separation anxiety sets in, and social awkwardness overtakes Sherman to the point where his brainy nature inspired rivalry with the class bully, the class smarty-pants herself, Penny.

Blah, blah, blah.

Ok, here is my issue with this mess of a film.  First, I was excited upon the film’s opening that this was going to be a cleverly disguised history lesson and that my kids were going to actually learn something while having fun.  I was wrong.  The opening scene is a ruse to dupe the audience into thinking that this film was clever, but it is not.  Instead, we are subjected to a mockery of moments in history that didn’t happen and so our children wind up even more confused about history or completely uninterested in actual events.  Next, why is it that every historical event depicted is of violence?  Troy, Egypt, French Revolution.  Death, death and talk of more death (and in gruesome detail).  There was a lot more to history than death.  THIS IS A KIDS MOVIE! 

Next, why are these kids so mean to one another?  I have to admit, I was ready to leave when Penny started publicly mocking Sherman in the school cafeteria and assaulting him.  Is this the message we are trying to send to our children?  Not only that, but the only way that he can make friends with her is to allow her to mentally bully him into disobeying his father?  Not only that, but after she already makes a mess of history or time space whatever, she continues to bully Sherman in disobedience, and that disobedience is depicted as a good time!

You should have let them disembowel the bitch!
Also, the Sherman/Peabody freak out yelling “you’re a bad boy” scene felt so unnecessary and false.

And then, with all these personal irritants we come to the fact that the end of this movie is just a messy, messy climax that makes no sense, uses a lot of big words, contradicts itself and basically makes the rest of the movie feel underdeveloped.


I don’t even want to get into the fact that this felt like a poorly developed attempt at fighting for gay adoption rights, but really, it does.  I understand that animated films can have an agenda and can ‘fight the fight’ and I have no problem with this if it is done with some intelligence and integrity, but this is just a mockery of a film that falls flat on its face so many times I wanted to kick holes into every oversized Peabody face in the theater lobby.

I give this a very easy F.  I initially thought D, but as I wrote this review (two weeks late, since I saw this opening weekend and just couldn't stomach putting my thoughts into words) I realized that I do in fact hate this movie, it is THAT bad.  Hopefully Oscar will ignore this, and I have a feeling it will.  I deserves nothing.  Even the original song sucks.

8 comments:

  1. Ouch! I thought it looked kind of cute, but I'm glad I read this first.

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    1. SO.MUCH.HATE.

      And I was looking forward to this one!

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  2. Wow... you really hated this. I remember those cartoons from Rocky & Bullwinkle yet I think their most memorable moment was in The Simpsons during a Halloween episode where Peabody told Sherman "quiet you".

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    1. The best part of this film is when Peabody says "Sherman, I need to get you out of here before you touch yourself".

      This is why I hate this movie.

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  3. My old philosophy for taking my son to the movies was anytime, anywhere, any flick. But after slogging through messy turd after messy turd, I've had to reconsider. Especially since Walking with F--king Dinosaurs. Ugh.

    Anyway, after seeing the preview, I insisted that I would NEVER see this movie, despite my son showing interest in seeing it.

    This post only confirms that for once in my life, I was right.

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    Replies
    1. This was better than Walking with Dinosaurs, but that movie was probably the absolute worst movie that has ever been made, so it's not saying much.

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  4. I was never very interested in this film. It looks like I needn't bother.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, stay far away. Such a waste of time.

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