Envy

0
0
Subscribe to Jack Black alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th April 2004

Box Office USA: $12.2M

Distributed by: DreamWorks SKG

Production compaines: Castle Rock Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 7%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 108

IMDB: 4.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Ben Stiller as Tim Dingman, Jack Black as Nick Vanderpark, Rachel Weisz as Debbie Dingman, Christopher Walken as J-Man, Amy Poehler as Natalie Vanderpark

Envy Movie Review


Even if you have not yet tired of the eye-bugging, eyebrow-dancing, class-clown schtick of Jack Black or the eye-bugging, eyebrow-dancing, fretful straight-man schtick of Ben Stiller, the first collaboration between these two one-trick ponies is still unlikely to draw a single laugh for its slapdash story of one-dimensional "Envy" run amok.

The pair star as K-Mart-class stiffs in the sandpaper trade who are best pals and neighbors in an under-the-power-lines cul-de-sac of the San Fernando 'burbs. A fusspot pragmatic by temperament, Stiller slowly turns bitter green when Black -- a wild-eyed daydreamer full of half-baked inventions and get-rich-quick schemes -- gets rich quick by helping conceive an aerosol spray that makes pet poop evaporate.

Soon Stiller and family (Rachel Weisz is wasted in a do-nothing role as his wife) are living across the street from the gaudy uber-mansion that replaced Black's tract home, complete with a carousel on the grounds and Corinthian-styled stables for a white horse that's always getting loose and nibbling on their apple tree. When jealous Stiller accidentally kills the horse in a midnight fit of drunken archery (Black's yard also boasts a bow-and-arrow target range), he tries to hide the body with the help of a weird hobo (Christopher Walken), and hilarity is supposed to ensue.

But normally reliable director Barry Levinson ("Bandits," "Wag the Dog," "Rain Man") seems to be asleep at the wheel. Subplots flail around like an unminded garden hose turned on full blast -- one involving Black's dingbat wife ("Saturday Night Live's" Amy Poehler) running for "congress, or state senate, or whatever." Some scenes -- entire acts, really -- end so abruptly that parts of the picture play as if a reel went missing. And the actors have clearly been left to their own meager devices, the result of which is a cobbled-together mess of scenery-chewing high jinks and under-rehearsed improvisation.

Throughout it all the air is thick with denial about the punchlines that do come from the screenplay (penned by professional script doctor Steve Adams) -- contrived clunkers like the chant of protesters at Poehler's plot-padding campaign rallies, who for no explored reason demand an explanation of her husband's product: "Where does the (poop) go? We want to know!"

As the end of "Envy" nears, secrets are revealed and conflicts resolved in expository episodes of ridiculous ease (e.g. Walken, who had been blackmailing Stiller over the dead horse, just changes his mind and leaves), and the movie coasts to the closing credits as Stiller and Black run out of ad-libbing steam.

Where are those funnier-than-the-feature out-takes -- which often accompany such lifeless comedies -- when you really need them?


Contactmusic

0
0
Subscribe to Jack Black alerts

Comments

Envy Rating

" Unbearable "

Advertisement

More Jack Black

Entourage Trailer

After making a name for themselves in Hollywood, Vincent Chase and his entourage of friends from Queens have finally made a movie. The only problem...

HAERTS - Interview Video

Brooklyn band Haerts released their self-titled debut album this year, and here they talk about how they first got into music, their lifelong friendship and...

Mark Ronson - Daffodils ft. Kevin Parker [Audio] Video

Mark Ronson will finally unveil his fourth album 'Uptown Special' on January 26th 2015 through his new label deal with Sony Music. He has teamed...

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin [Live] Video

Meghan Trainor performs her latest single 'Lips Are Movin' at one of her favourite places in the world: an aquarium. The song features, alongside smash...

Advertisement

Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire [Live] Video

Live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta, Bastille perform 'Things We Lost In The Fire', the final single from their debut album...

Bastille - Oblivion [Live] Video

Bastille perform their single 'Oblivion' live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta. The track followed Platinum hit 'Of The Night' and featured...

HAERTS - Be The One [Live] Video

Haerts perform an intimate live rendition of their song 'Be The One', taken from their self-titled debut album released in October 2014 through Columbia Records....

ScHoolboy Q - Hell Of A Night Video

ScHoolboy Q released his first number one with third album 'Oxymoron', and he now unveils the video to its latest single 'Hell Of A Night'...

Advertisement