The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle

dir Des McAnuff
scr Kenneth Lonergan
with Rene Russo, Jason Alexander, Robert DeNiro, Piper Perabo, Carl Reiner, Janeane Garofalo, Randy Quaid, David Alan Grier, Jonathan Winters, Jon Goodman, James Rebhorn, Whoopi Goldberg
release US 30.Jun.00; UK 9.Feb.01 Universal 00/US 1h28 2 out of 5 stars
At least the filmmakers brought the anarchic sense of humour to the big screen along with Moose and Squirrel. But this manic, relentlessly stupid film can't help but disappoint virtually everyone. The chaotic plot begins with a newsreel showing Frostbite Falls devastated after the cancellation of the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. Meanwhile, archvillains Boris and Natasha (Alexander and Russo) and their Fearlesss Leader (DeNiro) are in Pottsylvania struggling with the collapse of the Iron Curtain. So they leave the cartoon world to invade the real world, and the FBI recruits Rocky and Bullwinkle to save mankind.

Jay Ward's original animated series was so ahead of its time that there's no way to capture the self-aware cleverness now. Even with this high-tech blending of live and animated characters, post-modern wink-wink humour, manic filmmaking styles and terrific special effects. There are some very funny moments, a consistently high level of energy and, as with the original, the acknowledgement that the steady stream of puns is painful. But the filmmakers take the Airplane/Naked Gun path with silly visual gags and general nuttiness on all sides. And the cheesy plot sabotages it in the end, along with the endless smirking cameos and one rather misconceived joke in which DeNiro spoofs his Taxi Driver character. Sure, the best kids films should appeal to grown-ups, and this one definitely does (like the original series did). But what a mess.
silly violence, innuendo cert u 5.Oct.00

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"Quite frankly, I loved this movie so much I went to see it at least 5 times! I remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle series being on television here back in the 1960s and loved it. Yes, the jokes were silly, but I liked the way Robert DeNiro, Jason Alexander and Rene Russo played the bad guys. Bullwinkle hadn't changed a bit. Still a dimwit, but I loved him for all his mooseness. Rocky's still a great little character and still the only squirrel in living history that's flown the international dateline at the speed of sound and never suffered jet lag." --Hazel McKernan, England 22.May.03
2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall