Thursday, December 16, 2010

‘Yogi Bear’: Unbearable | 1 star

Parents wearied by malls and crowds and hopeless of the adult fare at the multiplex will take their children to see “Yogi Bear.”

“I loved Yogi when I was a kid,” they’ll think. And when it’s over, having left their popcorn bags and a few IQ points in the theater, they’ll marvel at how quickly a beloved childhood memory can be shattered.

Which brings up the question: For what audience was this pessimistic, crushingly witless film made, exactly?

Not for parents who grew up with “Yogi” on TV, because as “Scooby-Doo” showed us, turning a cartoon into a live-action film is intrinsically wrong. You can’t make cartoons work in the real world. They have their own rules and environments. A movie like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” knew this and played with the self-importance. “Yogi Bear” is far, far too stupid to care.

There’s a plot, but so what? Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake voice Yogi and his young sidekick, Boo Boo. Anna Faris is the romantic interest, proving that it’s time for her to shoot her agent once again. Seeing her wasted is yet another reason to hate this steaming heap.

Want a great gift idea for the kids? Here’s a surefire hit: Don’t take them to “Yogi Bear.”


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