Don’t Hedge Your Bet: See “Over the Hedge”

3.5 out of 5 stars

Note: I caught this film on TV recently, and I am happy to report that still makes me laugh to this day.  Most of the adult jokes hit, and the voice acting is fine.   While it has some problems, I would recommend it for a family film night.  Also, my comment about the film being as good as “Shrek” is no longer true.  Other than that, enjoy the review!

RJ (voiced by Bruce Willis) is a raccoon in some big trouble. When RJ tries to steal some food from a grizzly bear (Vincent played by Nick Nolte) he accidentally drops it, and it rolls down the mountain, lands on a freeway, and a truck runs over all of it. What’s worse, Vincent wakes up, sees that all of his food is gone, and tells RJ that he will give him one week to retrieve all the food he lost and get it back to the cave or he will have RJ for breakfast!

Meanwhile, things are not looking very good for the forest animals that wake up from hibernation to find that half their forest is gone, and a giant hedge (which they temporarily call Steve) is in its place. The forest leader, Verne the turtle, goes across ‘Steve’ to see what is on the other side. Once over the hedge, Verne (Garry Shandling) is confused about all of the human things. He starts getting the humans’ attention who then start hitting him with various objects before he finally gets away from the humans and back to the animals who thought the hedge had eaten Verne.

Then along comes RJ who meets the animals and he quickly replaces Verne as leader. That is when the fun really starts! There’s Stella the skunk (Wanda Sykes), Ozzie the porcupine (William Shatner) and his daughter Heather, and the always energetic squirrel, who I like to think of as a human caffeine machine, named Hammy. RJ starts taking them over the hedge to show them around the neighborhood a lot, and to get the food for the bear.

The first time they go over the hedge RJ tells them how humans work. Everything is about food. The phone summons the food. Vehicles deliver the food. We then see a pizza man delivering the food, and RJ says the door is a portal, for the food. The family saying the blessing is described by RJ as the altar, to the food. And finally, last but not least RJ explains to the animals that “the food the humans don’t eat goes into the shiny silver cans, just for us.”

But the humans are starting to notice that animals are stealing their food, so one of the humans calls an exterminator to get rid of the problem. Will the exterminator get the animals? Will RJ get the food to the bear in time? See this comedy to find out! It is rated PG for some rude humor and mild comic action. I’m happy to say there wasn’t any bad language in this one. Hurray! Also, this movie is from the creators of “Shrek” and “Madagascar,” and I thought it was as good as “Shrek.”

If you liked “Shrek,” you’ll like this!

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