The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle – 3 out of 5
I used to watch reruns of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle as a kid. I wouldn’t go as far to say I was a huge fan but I had fun with the cartoons. When the live-action film came out in 2000, I was already well over the days of watching Moose and Squirrel and was a college kid who felt he was “too cool” for this feature. After being reminded of its existence and due to the fact I’m way more laidback now when it concerns properties of entertainment I decided to finally check out The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.
|Was there fanboys in 2000 all saying this film was going to ruin their childhood?|
|Looks like Trump's cabinet.|
35 years after their cancellation, Rocky (voiced by June Foray) and Bullwinkle (voice by Keith Scott) are watching their hometown of Frostbite Falls fall apart around them. As they struggle, their archenemies; Fearless Leader (Robert De Niro), Boris (Jason Alexander) and Natasha (Rene Russo) have entered the real world after signing a contract with a Hollywood film studio and now intend to brainwash the country with bad television in order to make Fearless Leader the president. The FBI sends out agent Karen Sympathy (Piper Perabo) to bring in Rocky and Bullwinkle from the cartoon world and work with them to stop this nefarious plan. However, the road to victory gets a little bumpy and filled with cartoon hijinks.
|I don't want to be controversial but...why does Bullwinkle wear gloves?|
Two things struck and stuck with me with The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and they are the fact this feature really nailed the comedic tone of the original cartoon show and that there are TONS of big name actors in this film. While both Jason Alexander and Robert De Niro have been reportedly stated that they did the film for the paycheck (which is cool, I’m a performer and have done many a shows just so I can get some money—especially when I was a standup comic) but the film is just jam packed with big names and recognizable stars. Rene Russo, Janeane Garofalo, Carl Reiner, Jonathan Winters, John Goodman, Kenan & Kel, Randy Quaid and Billy Crystal (to name just a few) all have roles or surprise cameos in this film. Every time a new star showed up I found myself wondering if the budget for this film was enormous and a lot were doing it for the money or were some of these stars big fans of the characters and the old cartoon show. Either way, it was kinda impressive to see this amazing amount of stars in a property like Rocky and Bullwinkle.
|John Goodman's presence makes any film marginally better.|
Even this one. It's science.
What was actually pretty impressive about the film is how it nailed the overall tone of how the original cartoon was. The humor and the story itself feels like it was directly lifted from the old series and it was actually pretty admirable that the production never compromised itself to fit in with how the world was turning in 2000. Imagine how awful that could have been? A soundtrack featuring Limp Bizkit and the Insane Clown Posse, the characters dropping the R-word to describe things they hate and chugging Go-gurt as they skateboard. While I dug that the film avoided feeling like a product of the 00’s and stayed true to its roots this dynamic was also its partial undoing.
|Bobby and I have a lot in common. He's a human being. I'm a human being.|
He did The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle for the paycheck and paychecks
are the only reason I go to my day job. And that's about it.
I won’t argue that The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle is a bad movie but it is one that I just didn’t find that funny. Granted, there are some jokes here and there that are amusing and made me chuckle but I never laughed very hard at the film. The movie is going for a more wholesome, innocent approach with the humor and that’s fine because that’s how the cartoon was but the jokes just fell a little flat for me. Thankfully, the humor isn’t too cringe-y but sometimes they do come off very cheesy and made the whole thing feel like one long Dad Joke. It’s funny in theory but never enough to be laugh-out-loud funny.
|I admire the faith that Karen puts in Rocky. I wouldn't trust a cartoon squirrel|
to carry me and fly me around at great heights.
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle is a fine movie. It’s not doing anything particularly wrong as it keeps the tone of the cartoon, has a great cast and the animation to bring the characters to life may not be earth-shatteringly amazing but works for the aesthetic of the characters but it doesn’t change the fact the film is a bit meh when it comes to its humor. This end result equals a film that is kinda forgettable. In 2000 I would have been too cool to watch this film and never would have stopped telling people how dumb it was so people would realize how awesome I was that I found it beneath me but 2019 I find that I watched it, it didn’t resonate with me and I just shrug my shoulders over it.