Making the Grades
Environmental warfare takes on a whole new meaning in this clunky production that pits a rogue raccoon and an army of forest critters against a big land developer.
After accepting a promotion at work, Dan Sanders (Brendan Fraser) uproots his wife and son and moves them from Chicago to Oregon. His new job requires him to live on a land site his company is developing into an upscale neighborhood. Luckily the family still has cell phone and Internet service so the son Tyler (Matt Prokop) can keep in touch with his friends back home. But neither Tyler nor his mom Tammy (Brooke Shields) is too excited about the new surroundings.
The forest animals that are about to be displaced by the subdivision aren’t too happy either. Orchestrating a military-style offensive that would impress most human commanding officers, the animals initiate a series of ongoing assaults aimed at Dan. In the process, he is sprayed by skunks, locked in a portable outhouse by a bear, bitten, scratched, harmed in the groin and urinated on.
Tammy, who doesn’t believe Dan is under attack, is understandably concerned when her husband starts littering their yard with traps and other paraphernalia designed to catch the raccoon and his cohorts. However, Dan is convinced he needs to get the wildlife issue under control before his money-driven boss. Mr. Lyman (Ken Jeong) arrives on location with their top Indian investor (Gerry Bednob). Resorting to tranquilizer guns and cages, he attempts to corral the forest creatures but his solution only further alienates him from his son and wife.
Painting land developers so negatively makes it easy to establish them as the bad guys. Having Tyler and his friend Amber (Skyler Samuels) lead the fight for the environment sets them up as the heroes of the story. But while the violence is mostly played for comedy, all the characterizations in this story are contrived and one-dimensional. The script is also so outlandish and sometimes crude that it fails to produce any kind of positive message about saving natural habitats or considering more earth-friendly alternatives for developers.
Instead, parents may be feeling a little in-fur-iated about all the money they spent to let their kids watch these Rambo-style forest creatures exact vengeance on a big business tycoon who is just in the game for the cash.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Furry Vengeance.
How are land developers portrayed versus environmentalists? Are those who move into new subdivisions also to blame for the impact on animals? What about people who live in older communities that were once new? Is anyone exempt from having an effect on the natural world?
How many product placements did you count in this film?