x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Open Season 3

It's probably closing time for this franchise if it has come to this: a tired formula with an unoriginal plot and inane gags.

Director: Cody Cameron
Starring (voices of): Mathew J Munn, Mike Epps, Gina Torres
**

Animated films have come a long way. You only need look at the success of the Shrek, Toy Story and How to Train Your Dragon franchises to see that, done well, they can be charming and witty, capable of entertaining children and adults alike.

Unfortunately, Open Season 3 doesn’t fit this model; this is a lacklustre affair that leaves the viewer in little doubt as to why it went straight to DVD. At just over 70 minutes, it feels rather more like an extended cartoon than a feature film.

Discontented at finding his forest friends heavily ensconced in domestic life, Boog the grizzly bear sets out on his own, only to be tricked into joining a travelling circus whose next destination is Russia.

Ultimately, it’s up his loyal friends (led by the mule-deer Elliot) who he thought had forgotten him, to save the day.

The plot is unoriginal and predictable from the outset, the gags are inane and the major players such as Ashton Kutcher, Martin Lawrence and Debra Messing (who added sparkle to the first film) have long since departed.

The quality of the animation has also taken a dive, presumably thanks to budget cuts. All in all, a tired formula that might be of passing interest to young children, but is best avoided by adults.

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