Projections - Movie Reviews

Starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Rachel Weisz, Amy Poehler,
Christopher Walken, Ariel Gade

The Ben Stiller-Jack Black comedy, Envy, is simply BAD. It has two top stars, a major director (Barry Levinson) and a huge budget. The problem is the continuous running dog poop joke which is crap.

Tim (Stiller) and Nick (Black) are best friends who live on the same suburban street and work in a 3M sandpaper manufacturing plant in similar white-collar jobs but they have one big difference, Tim is practical and Nick is a dreamer.

One day, while watching a dog relieve himself, Nick gets the idea of inventing a spray that makes dog droppings disappear. But Tim sees no merit in the proposal and refuses to make an initial $2,000 investment to help Nick fund the project.

Naturally the stuff works and becomes a worldwide success making Nick a billionaire. Now we see Tim recognizing he’s missed the opportunity of a lifetime, seething with Envy.

On paper this sounds like a pretty good premise. The choice of Stiller to do the envy and Black as a person to simply hate, works! Add in the skilled hand of director Levinson (Bugsy and Rain Man) and it should have been successful.

The problem is that all the humor revolves around dog poop. After 30 minutes we don’t care if anyone in the film lives or dies. No character is developed and while we all face the little green envy monster from time to time we develop little empathy for Stillers character and we hate Black from beginning to end.

Run the other way if you are asked to see this one.


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