A pleasantly restrained Martin Lawrence voices the likable grizzly-bear hero of this computer-generated feature. Raised by a ranger, he's lost when exiled to the woods, thanks to a wild-eyed mule deer (Ashton Kutcher, channeling Donkey from Shrek). As is usual in computer animation, the film's look is overbright, its green world appearing as natural as supermarket produce under fluorescents. Directors Roger Allers and Jill Culton don't trust their material in the two big comic sequences, a sugar-fueled rampage in a convenience store and a flood, and cut them too quickly for all the jokes to register. On the plus side, Open Season enjoys a clear narrative, real rooting interest, and good interspecies rapport. On the downside, there's a surfeit of cruel bunny-rabbit gags. The film ends with a goggle-eyed rabbit being thrown right into the camera. Are we watching a Shrek knockoff, or Fatal Attraction?
Roger Allers, Jill Culton, Anthony StacchiMartin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing, Jon Favreau, Billy Connolly, Fergal ReillySteve Bencich, Ron J. FriedmanChristopher Jenkins, Michelle MurdoccaSony Pictures