(The Dreamworks-uary logo is shown, before showing clips from Over the Hedge. The song "Rockin' the Suburbs" by Ben Folds plays in the background throughout)
Doug (vo): I could not believe the cast they got for this movie when I saw the trailer. Bruce Willis, William Shatner, Steve Carell, Garry Shandling, Wanda Sykes, Catherine O'Hara, Thomas Haden Church, these people are all comedy GOLD. So, naturally, I got really, really excited to see the film and, yeah, it kinda sucked. It had a few jokes that worked and a couple likeable characters, but, yeah, this was really kind of...bad. What's the story?
Doug (vo): A raccoon, played by Bruce Willis, accidentally destroys all the food that was belonging to a bear, played by Nick Nolte. The raccoon swears he can get all the food back for his hibernation in exchange for his life. The bear agrees and the raccoon comes across a group of wild animals, who have just discovered a hedge. And over the hedge: suburbia. The raccoon informs them that suburbia is full of food, all sorts of food practically gift-wrapped for them. So the animals agree to go and collect as much food as possible, unaware that the raccoon is actually saving them for himself, that is to say, the bear.
Doug (vo): Not only do we have to go through the "liar revealed" story again, which, as you know, I really fucking despise, but I'll give you an example about why a lot of these jokes don't work. Take, for example, where the raccoon is first introducing them to opening up chips.
[That scene is shown, showing Bruce Willis' character, RJ the raccoon, opening up a bag of chips, causing dozens of orange smoke to fly past the animals, nearly blowing them away. The scene cuts to Earth from outer space, where the orange smoke explodes like a nuclear bomb]
Doug (vo): Okay, here's why this joke doesn't work. First of all, they use it again. Now there, it works, because that's something negative happening to them, and it's so large that when you back off and show the planet and show the impact it's having, it's showing how much misery it's spreading. That's why that joke works. But if you're just opening a cheese snack and, if anything, it's just supposed to be something good, why would showing it from Earth matter? There's no misery involved, so there's not really any point in emphasizing it, at least not to that degree. And so much of the rest of the story is just building up character traits that are just gonna come into the story later and, well, not really make us laugh. They're just playing into the story, the story we already know, because you set it up in the beginning and we know exactly what's gonna happen!
[Several of the film's characters are shown]
Doug (vo): None of the celebrities really lend much to the characters. I don't know if they weren't allowed to, or maybe it wasn't a good script, or, I don't know, but their talents surprisingly don't bring anything. William Shatner is a possum who has to pretend to die all the time. I guess when you think about it, that could be pretty funny, 'cause we know what a hammy actor he is, but...if it's animated and we're not really seeing Shatner...yeah, you kind of realize why this joke wouldn't work. Wanda Sykes is a skunk who has to be made to look pretty later on. Again, if you're not seeing Wanda Sykes, that doesn't really work either. I think the only one that really comes through is Steve Carell as the squirrel, this really super-crazy, hyper squirrel. But even he doesn't get as many laughs as the script should allow. It's aggravating, because this is so much funny people, and yet so few funny moments.
[The film's climax is shown]
Doug (vo): Apart from the occasional joke that gets a giggle, the only time where it actually really starts to pay off is the ending, and it's a good setup. Once the "liar's revealed", he tries to redeem himself by saving the day. The animals don't know this, and so they're constantly trying to throw him outside of the car, where the bad guy is.
[One shot in the climax is shown. RJ attempts to get in the truck]
RJ: Thank you, yes, yes! [However, the animals, still angry, throw him out of the truck again] Wait! Let me in, let me in!
Ozzie the Possum (Shatner): No, ring-tailed charlatan!
Doug (vo): And this leads to some pretty funny physical humor.
Doug (vo): But aside from that, it's a snore-fest, and a real disappointment. This is good animation, too. It's bright, it's colorful, you'd think it might be able to get a little commentary in there. I mean, it was starting to with the food stuff, or even lines like this.
Gladys Sharp: No, I can talk. I'm just driving.
Doug (vo): This could've been like a great satire of suburbia or a great animal point of view sort of film, but it's just dull, predictable, and, like I said before, not that funny. All of these celebrities would go on to even bigger and funnier stuff, but I can tell you right now, this would definitely not be in that lineup.
[The final scene, showing Hammy the Squirrel celebrating after finding his nuts, and then running smack into the camera, is shown]