‘Death to Smoochy’ dies hard

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‘Death to Smoochy’ dies hard

If you’re in the mood for watching crap, save yourself the trouble of seeing Death to Smoochy in the theater and rent Freddy Got Fingered instead.

This painfully awful film is unfortunately star-studded with Danny DeVito, who stars in and directs the film.

Edward Norton (a good actor, who at one point in his career took prestigious roles) plays Smoochy, the cute and loveable rhinoceros. He’s not only cuddly, but health-conscious and socially aware as well.

John Stewart, who plays the money-hungry bad guy, wastes his comedic timing and witty remarks in this film. Robin Williams, the icing on the cake, gives the most shameless, ridiculous, over-the-top performance since Flubber.

Sadly, the talent of these actors cannot surpass the shoddy script, poor supporting actors and unbelievable plot.

This film fails to reach out to an adult audience, or at least an intelligent one, despite its R rating. It’s violent and there’s enough gratuitous foul language, but overall it just doesn’t work as an adult-targeted film.

However, due to the extreme language and violence that just don’t fit the tone of the film, it couldn’t reach a younger audience either.

These factors add up to a film that could have been funny, intelligent and witty, but instead is cartoon-like and one-dimensional and insults the average audience member’s I.Q.

We know the bad guys are bad because they wear black, have deep voices and appear in the shadows.

We know Norton is the good guy because of his “aren’t-I-so-cute-when-I-wear-this-cheesy- smile-and-talk-with-a-slight-southern-twang” character.

And DeVito’s character is the bad-guy-pretending-to-be-good-guy, surprise surprise, and to think he almost had us fooled.

Then there’s Catherine Keener’s character, the I’m-so-tough-because-I-cuss-a-lot-and-hit-men character who is completely ridiculous, unconvincing and flat-out annoying throughout the film.

This movie is supposed to be a comedy, but it’s laughable for all the wrong reasons.

The script doesn’t flow, the dialogue is forced, and the language and violence are completely unnecessary. It’s as though they had to try really really hard to get that R rating to attract viewers.

Death to Smoochy seems like a spoof on the popular children’s show Barney, and perhaps that’s the intention. But with the misguided plot and complete lack of character analysis, the movie is a flat-out bust.

The only enjoyable parts of the film are the parts where Smoochy is in character and we, the audience get to watch his show. Counting the seats in the theater is more entertaining than this film.

2 recommended
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