By: The Dweeb
Oh what could have been. Envy is one of those films that probably looked good on paper but the final result was a completely different animal. Hey, how could you go wrong with a comedy featuring Ben Stiller and Jack Black, its gold baby! Well, something did somewhere along the line, and as a result executives put this one on the shelf for a couple years. Only when School of Rock became a certified hit did this film see the light of day. Naturally it tanked quickly and died a sudden death, and now it makes its quiet debut on DVD.
Envy had a lot of potential to be a decent comedy, but it just didn’t have that spark. It was bland and predictable yes, but I still thought it was okay. I know I’m in the minority here, but when you have to sit through Scary Movie 3 and Johnson Family Vacation, this is a breath of fresh air let me tell you! I think the film starts off strongly, with a great premise, but the writers had a hard time taking it somewhere, so it got boring. The way the film tied up its loose ends just seemed like a copout to me. Spending time on jokes about flan, well, that’s not very funny.
I think its time for Ben Stiller to choose another acting genre. I’m getting really tired of the same act he keeps bringing to the screen. He was awesome a few years ago with There’s Something About Mary and Meet The Parents, but his loser/straight guy act is growing old real fast. Yeah, okay we’ve seen this already! Several times this year. Move along folks.
Jack Black is probably the highlight of this film, his typical comedic stylings are a perfect fit for a role as the obnoxious neighbor Nick. Many people have compared him as the next John Belushi. I would have to disagree, nobody can ever be like Bluto. He invented this type of character. Black can try as he might, he will never reach that same level. Jack Black is more of the annoying type funny man, we’ll see how long audiences can put up with this guy. I just don’t understand how his character can forgive Tim (Ben Stiller) for killing his horse and then make him a partner as well.
Now we come on to the character of the J-Man. What were they thinking of casting Christopher Walken as this bum? Horrible horrible mistake. I think a Steve Buscemi or even Dennis Leary would have been more appropriate here. Walken is not the type of actor who can pull something like this off. A very poor choice, and probably downright embarrassing for him. Watching Walken run around in a wig and ramble these inane comments made me cringe. And just like that, when you think he will add that final zing to the climax of the film, he just runs off into the night end of story. Huh?
Because the studio knows it has a stinker on its hands, it gets the shaft in the extras department. I’m sure there was no budget for its creation, they were just hoping to recoup their losses with a cheap DVD. On this single discer, you get the choice of either widescreen or fullscreen and there are virtually no extras. They pass off this ‘Best of Black’ as some kind of feature but really it takes you to chapter links in the movie. The rest is just publicity campaign filler material that I absolutely loathe. That just means there was no effort put into this at all.