a critiQal film review Envy (2004)

  • DVD
  • Vudu

Plot: Tim Dingman (Stiller) and Nick Vanderpark (Black) are best friends and next door neighbors. When Nick comes up with the idea for Va-poo-rize - a spray that makes doggy poo disappear - he asks Tim to be his partner, but Tim declines, thinking it's a waste of time. But when the idea takes off, how will Tim take it?

518 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 35s)
  • ...this Stiller/Black team-up just plain stinks.

I saw the previews for Envy and thought, with Jack Black and Ben Stiller, how could you go wrong? Reid didn’t really want to see this movie but, it was playing at the drive-in with Shrek 2 (2004), so we decided what the heck, we’ll watch both. After all, since we are paying the fee for both might as well see both, right?

I guess I should’ve listened to Reid and left after Shrek 2 (2004), because this movie really wasn’t worth the time.

The actors weren’t totally to blame for the crappiness pf Envy, but they didn’t help much either. Ben definitely wasn’t at his best. After seeing Ben in movies like Meet the Parents and Zoolander, I was expecting a much better performance than what he gave. He didn’t seem to really get into the character – it was just something for him to do, not something he enjoyed doing.

Jack Black was also a bit of a disappointment. Don’t get me wrong he was still the same old zany Jack, but he kind of fell apart during the more serious scenes. It’ll be interesting to see if he will get better at those scenes for his upcoming role in King Kong.

Christopher Walken was probably the best of any of the characters of the film, but the script doesn’t really fulfill the promise his character brings to the film.

Rachel Weisz and Amy Poehler are not really in the film much, so never get a chance to contribute.

The plot starts with a good premise but then just falls apart. Tim misses the opportunity to get rich, has it inadvertently rubbed in his face every day, and does something while drunk that could screw everything up.

With this set up they could’ve done so much more. But they ended things too quickly, they started off with one story line and then switched story lines part way through and rapped up any complications way too easily. It’s almost as if the writer changed half way through and he changed the scope of the story.

One thing they tried to do with this movie to make it unique, was the song choice. They tried to have a song describe the movie as it went along. It was an interesting approach to a non-musical film and that seemed to be the only part of the movie that was any good. It was kind of nice to have the song fill you in on where they were in the “plot”, rather than to have to tediously have to pay attention every minute.

All in all, Jack Black and Ben Stiller made a bad choice with Envy. Since this movie is so bad, maybe you should just listen to the song instead. That way you get the plot of the movie and it wastes less time.

I would definitely NOT recommend this movie to anybody. If you happen to be in the same situation we were, where this movie is playing after Shrek 2 (2004) at your local drive-in, just leave after that. You won’t miss anything worthwhile and you’ll go home happy.

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