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This is my first movie review on IMDb. I was forced to register after
watching this movie. I cannot in good conscience allow this movie to be
unreviewed by me. The people must be warned!
First of all, my rating is: 0 (as in "zero")
I love Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Rachel Weis, and Christopher Walken, and yet, I hated this movie. There is a plot, but who cares when there's no script. The dialogue is unreal and plain boring, the situations are contrived, the flow of events is slow and somewhat arbitrary, the characters are unsympathetic and uninteresting, and the story, although based on a good premise, is stupid. This movie is a piece of poo.
Never mind wasting MONEY on this movie, it's not even worth your TIME spent watching it. Please do not see it... I beg of you!
I just saw this movie at a sneak preview and all I can say is..."What did
just watch????" And I mean that in a good and bad way.
The plot is really simple. Stiller and Black play friends/neighbors. Stiller is the focused, hardworker while Black is a dreamer. Black invents this idea to create a spray that erases poo. The idea becomes very popular, and Black becomes very rich. The extravagant lifestyle that Black gains and the fact that he still tries to be best friends with Stiller causes Stiller to become crazy with envy.
As I said, the plot is simple. Everything else is plain odd. The direction is odd, with a weird rotating opening shot to out-of-nowhere sped up sequences. The dialouge and the acting is very odd; odd in a rambling sort of way. And the sound track is the oddest thing in the movie, from the weird "Envy" song that keeps on reappearing to the scene where you think you're going to hear a classic 80's song but suddenly it's in Japanese.
So, the true question is this...is odd funny? That depends purely on the individual. I was cracking up at the shear unwavering weirdness of the movie. After the screening I heard people call it horribly unfunny and glad that it was free. Strangely, I understood their point. There are no jokes whatsoever, so if you aren't hooked by the uniqueness of it all, you will hate this movie. Absolutely hate it.
This movie is destined to lose a lot of money at the box office and become a DVD cult classic. If you can laugh at a movie with no real jokes, like Cable Guy or Punch Drunk Love, then I suggest you see it. If you don't, run away from this movie. It'll only make you mad.
This could be looked at in many different ways. This movie sucks, its
good or its just plain weird. The third one probably explains this
movie best. It has strange themes and just has a strange plot. So who
else but Christopher Walken would play in this no matter how bad,
average or even how good it might be.
The acting was what you would expect especially out of Ben Stiller. Jack Black I have always liked so you know what you will get out of him but this is not bad. Christopher Walken is always off the wall. He is always enjoyable to watch no matter how bad the movie is. Comedy wise it is somewhat funny. This of course meaning that it does have its moments (though very few) but can get a little over top here and there which makes me feel like the movie is just desperate for laughs but of course not in a good way.
The directing was average as well. Barry Levinson is a slightly overrated director and really did not do a good job here. This movie seemed that it had a lot more potential and he did not do much to reach it. Just very average and did not seem like a lot of effort was put into making this film.
The writing is the key to a good comedy. Obviously that means the writing here failed. At best it is below average. Considering it does have its moments it was not too horrible. That is never a good thing to say about a movie though.
If not for Christopher Walken and it stupid ridiculous ending I would have given it a lower rating. He is always quite a character in his movies. Stil this is just a whacked out strange movie with strange characters that really don't go anywhere. Not completely horrible but I would not really recommend it though because it is a very forgettable movie.
Saw it in May 04 when it first came out (yes in an empty theater) and thought it was quietly funny with a moral lesson. Not for everyone but if you like Stiler, Black or Walken, see the movie and judge for yourself. If you are a critic and you are looking for art, forget it. If you are looking for a rainy night rental movie that you can eat some cheap popcorn and diet coke to, then this is a movie you can enjoy. You don't have to think too hard to enjoy the comedy and the moral is easy to pick up on. It won't win any awards nor go down in cinema history as a gem but it's worth the price of the rent and don't forget to rewind. I give it 7 out of 10 Frogs.
I couldn't wait to put this movie in my DVD player when I rented it. Then after I started it, I couldn't wait to get it OUT of my DVD player. Actually I watched all of the movie. My wife and I kept waiting and waiting for something funny to happen, but nothing funny ever does. The box read like the it would be really funny. The premise of the movie sound good. Ben Stiller is funny. Jack Black is funny. How could this movie miss? Well....it does miss! This is the unfunniest "comedy" I have ever watched. Nobody I have talked with thought it was even slightly funny. It is just a really lame movie. Trust me. Avoide it....AVOIDE IT!!
Cult classics are nearly impossible to predict. Who could guess that
Vision Quest, Fight Club, and 2001: A Space Oddysey, movies that were
panned by critics and audiences alike upon their release, would become
immensely popular? Like many IMDBers, I consider myself a movie expert.
Unlike the majority of those who hated Envy(evidenced by a dismal 4.4
rating), I found Envy to be one of the funniest movies in the last
The plot of the movie is ridiculous. The dialogue isn't clever, the scenes have little continuity, and the script seems like it was written by a fourth grader. But that's exactly why the movie is so hilarious. You see, in order to appreciate the accidental genius of Envy, you have to enjoy the movie from an ironically-detached point of view.
Why do I love Envy? Because the movie is bad to the point that it becomes good. This is the recipe for a cult classic, and Envy definitely fits the bill.
Was the script more fitting for a 30 minute sitcom? Yes, but they still make it work! I thought the actors did a fantastic job with an otherwise bland script, especially Jack Black and Christopher Walken. Most people on the board seem to really hate this film. I personally can't see how that could be, but Envy is just one of those film that you either love it or hate it. Much like Napoleon Dynamite and every Leslie Neilsen movie ever made. You either think it's one of the worst movies ever made or one of the funniest. Don't avoid this movie because of the reviews. Watch it and see if you're one of the ones who really like it! If you do, I guarantee it's worth your money. If you don't like it... well, now you know.
Tim Dingman and Nick Vanderpark are neighbours and colleagues working
down at 3M in middle-management jobs with vague prospects for more. Tim
scores highly across the board on his performance chart, but dreamer
Nick flunks on focus. Constantly discussing his pipe-dreams, Nick has
worn down Tim to the point where he doesn't listen any more. However
when Nick does hit on something, Tim ignores the chance to invest.
Eighteen months later and Nick is rich beyond his wildest dreams and
has covered his house across the street into a mansion. Meanwhile Tim
has been left feeling inadequate and jealous of Nick's success.
I'm surprised by the amount of hate put aside for this film, not because it is bad but more because, having seen it, I'm struggling to have any strong feelings towards it one way or another as it is all very bland and misfiring. I can understand why professional critics laid into it; it is not that often that they sees stars fall so when someone has a high-profile flop, it is almost like a competition to write the most savage review and of course the public mostly follow suit at first. Anyway, I'm not quite sure what the plot is here because it seems to be being made up as it goes along and there is no flow to it.
Worse than this, there are no real laughs either. Occasionally (and I mean very occasionally) there are some slightly amusing moments but mostly it is just one misfired attempt at humour after another and the overwhelming impact on me was one of inducing boredom. The cast are wasted with the material, which is where the weakness lies. Stiller needed to produce a real person and then move him into extremes in the way that has worked for him before. Here though he cannot find the person and instead he just mugs his way through. Black is left on the sidelines to occasionally act like a big kid, he doesn't suit the role and he deserved something better but he is nothing compared to the waste of the fine actress Weisz, who hopefully at least had fun on this cause I can't imagine this film brought her anything else. Walken is OK but only because he is being "Walken" throughout which is still fun because he is now like someone doing a really good impression of Christopher Walken, which is fun I guess.
Overall then a bad film but not in the ranting "burning torches in the street" sense that some reviewers have done but just in the "pointless wasted of time with nothing at all of value" sense. At best it amuses but mostly every aspect of it misfires most of the time and it only succeeded in making me bored.
The central image of this movie is a dog taking a crap. Knowing this, I
can't imagine how anyone could judge Envy by the same criteria as a
"real" movie. This movie is stupid and it knows it's stupid. It's fully
aware of that fact, so don't bother using that as a critique. Accept
the stupidity into your heart and let this film melt your brain with
comedy. In many mainstream comedies, audiences have to wade through
some cheesy or worn out plot to get to the funny stuff. But at the end
of the day the stories these movies are telling aren't really any good,
they're merely a labored suggestion of substance. Ultimately the reason
we watch them is to see some funny performers doing funny things, not
for the narrative. However good a movie like the 40-Year-Old Virgin
maybe, Bergman it ain't! The story only really functions to support the
comedy. So then why not make a joke out of the plot too? Why not make a
comedy that is one long extended joke? Just enjoy the insanity of the
brilliant cast and be thankful that Envy has the common decency to
forgo the usual pretense of profundity and focus on poop jokes instead.
Now this next point may be a harder argument to make and may contradict my last point, but if you do look closely at the recurring gags and images in Envy, the dare-I-say motifs of the film, you might find that it is actually a very nasty spoof of our consumer culture. Plus, the main conflict of the film is that the characters have such a hard time reconciling their greed for material possessions and their moral obligations to other human beings. Jack Black's character even utters a line that I think many people actually live by: "Nice things make life better." So perhaps Envy is secretly brilliant and is merely hiding behind a mask of utter stupidity. That would make it the inverse of most movies out there today (I'm thinking of Inception right now).
Yes I feel I owe a great deal of gratitude towards film critics. If they
hadn't trashed this film, the bar wouldn't have been set so low and I
have been much more disappointed.
Yet because of the brutal critic thrashing, I didn't expect citizen Kane and therefore found Envy a decent time-filler. It's silly and stupid, which is often the kind of comedy I can't get enough of.
Yes, Barry Levinson has slipped from his "Rain Man" days. But even William Shakespeare wasn't 100% successful all the time. This is a minor triumph for the Academy-Award-Winner.
And Christopher Walken: The Stepford Wives will be his 3rd movie this year. Which makes me wonder: why isn't he in more movies?
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