It always strikes me as amusing when critics review a kids movie as if the flick was meant for adults. In her review of Furry Vengeance, USAToday’s Claudia Puig calls it, “…a slapstick stinker, easily the worst movie of the year… There’s simply nothing to recommend this mirthless mess.”

Really, Ms. Puig? So you’re saying Furry Vengeance isn’t in the same league as Citizen Kane then? Huh. Go figure.

Look… Furry Vengeance was made for 6-12 year olds, not adults (and that includes certain movie critics. Ms. Puig never mentions the words “kids” or “children” once in her review.)

While it would have been nice for the filmmakers to also gear Furry Vengeance toward adults, sometimes we big people don’t luck out. (There can only be a few How To Train Your Dragons each year, and this isn’t one of them.)

That’s not to say adults won’t find a handful of funny moments, some of which are even LOL (just to keep this hip).

Furry Vengeance
tells the story of beleaguered Dan (Brendan Fraser), a real estate developer who’s uprooted his family from Chicago to a brand new mansion on an Oregon nature preserve to oversee construction on a huge (and very un-green) subdivision there. As luck would have it (long story) a raccoon overhears Dan’s plans and immediately rallies the troops to make Dan’s life a living hell (Apparently the little critter remembered his Charlemagne: “Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky.”)

Over the next 90 minutes Dan gets repeatedly hit in the crotch, sprayed with what must have been close-to-lethal amounts of skunk juice, and tormented incessantly by a tap-tap-tapping bird. Not to mention some very cringe-worthy adventures in a porta-potty. It’s very broad humor, it’s very slapstick, and, yes, some of it is quite amusing.

If, though, you’re expecting the more adult humor of, say, Date Night, try the next screen over.

Fraser milks his role for all its worth, hamming up the insanity to near DefCon-1 levels. Brooke Shields and Matt Prokop (as Dan’s wife and son, respectively) spend most of Furry Vengeance playing up their exasperation in a vain attempt to stay even with Fraser’s looniness (is that even a word?). And the animals (primarily real-life and trained, and only mildly dependent on CGI) do have a point… though you may find yourself wondering where they all were a year earlier when Dan’s 3,500 square-foot house was being built in their backyard.

Furry Vengeance will never be mentioned in the same sentence as Casablanca (well, except for that sentence), and it will be pretty much forgotten by the time you reach your car. But if you’re a kid, you’ll laugh yourself silly.

And, quite frankly, that’s OK.

2.5/5 stars