Written by / 6/29/2011 / No comments / , , ,

YOGI BEAR

title: YOGI BEAR
year: 2011
cast: Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Tom Cavanagh, Anna Faris
rating: *

A reboot usually refers to when a computer goes bad, and in order to get things back in place, you restart it and hopefully, it'll work like before. But with movies, rebooting often does the opposite, messing up what worked just fine. Here we have a classic children's television show centering on Yogi, a walking/talking bear and his counterpart, Boo-Boo. At every turn, Yogi, native to Jellystone Park, steals picnic baskets and is hassled by Ranger Smith, an uptight grownup who, in the cartoon, made for a terrific foil. But here he's a broodingly sarcastic young-looking fellow who should be hanging out at a yuppie pool hall, and our furry stars, who only yearn for those baskets during the first ten minutes, are merely backdrop to a lame story involving the ranger shyly romancing a blond documentary filmmaker, and a duo of corporate goons wanting to shut down the park. So this reboot, like several others out there, are taking something cornily nostalgic and playing them tongue and cheek, with one foot off the proverbial bed, to avoid being silly like the original, but in that, are missing everything that was endearing and entertaining enough to, three decades later, base a film on. Dan Aykroyd, voicing Yogi, seems to be doing an imitation, but Justin Timberlake does a good enough job you forget it's him. Sad thing, neither creature adds much here, and look so computer-animated they don't seem real at all. Then again, either does anything, or anyone, else. And there's a new brand of sarcasm out there, difficult to explain... it's kind of deadpan, providing a muted punchline born from a dull sense of missed expectation. It occurs in droves here, and many other contemporary comedies; and please, for the love of God, enough already!
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