Starring: Bruce Willis, Steve Carell, Garry Shandling
Director: Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick
Running Time: 83 mins
Over The Hedge is an American film about a pack of hibernating woodland animals who wake up in spring to find that most of their forest has been destroyed and replaced by residential housing, however a cunning raccoon arrives on the scene to help them get used to their new surroundings.
Well, it may not be the most intelligent thing ever, nor is it likely to stand the test of time very well, but you’ve got to admit that this film is so much fun! I loved the zany antics of all of the characters, it’s got a reasonably mature sense of humour, so it’s fun for adults as well as kids, great voice performances, and an action-packed story.
I’ll start with the story. Now, it is totally preposterous, a ridiculous plot that personifies the animals to the max, and spirals totally out of control. However, it’s so much fun, so interesting, and a somewhat original, more modern take on your average woodland tale, setting it within a suburban setting, and even though it is totally ridiculous, it’s not annoying in the slightest, it’s just a barrel of laughs to behold.
There’s also a great ensemble of characters in this film. From the sly raccoon to the timid possums, the cautious tortoise to the insane squirrel, and the sassy skunk to the emotive cat, it’s a great display of what can be done with a decent amount of contrast to create both tension and, especially in this film, an even greater sense of a strong bond between the characters.
What’s more is that the voice performances in this film were fantastic, and really helped to bring these brilliant characters to life. Bruce Willis was as cool as ever as the raccoon, other big stars like William Shatner and Nick Nolte were hilarious and well-suited to their characters, Omid Djalili plays the most epic cameo as Tiger the cat, and Steve Carell puts in, in my opinion, one of his best performances of all time as the totally insane and hyperactive Hammy the squirrel.
Now, the only thing that could potentially bring this film down is that it would be a too oriented towards kids, but that’s just not true, due to the fact that it’s got quite a complex, often frightening story, and its sense of humour is not only silly slapstick, but also a great combination of witty repartees and simply hilarious characters.
Overall, this gets a 7.9, because as well as being a fantastically fun film to watch, it’s got some fantastic performances, and something more for the adults that makes the a perfect watch for all the family.