Great Scenes… Over The Hedge
For a relatively new genre of film, computer animated comedies already have some pretty stiff competition. In a class headed by the likes of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, Wall.E and Up, it’s always going to be tough to make your mark. Over The Hedge, released by DreamWorks in 2006, had all the right tools: cutesy characters for the kids, some light satire on American consumerism for the adults and some decent voice talent, including names such as Bruce Willis, Nick Nolte, Steve Carell, Omid Djalili, Eugene Levy, Avril Lavigne and even William Shatner. The overall result was a bit meh, save for one outstanding moment during the film’s climax.
Steve Carell’s Hammy the Squirrel is hyperactive, noisy and as annoying to his friends as he is to the audience. There’s hope for us yet though, as it looks like he is about to be killed along with the rest of the woodland critters after they get trapped in a hedge between a hungy bear, an angry exterminator and the psychotic strimmer-armed homeowner. The three hack away at the bush and all appears to be lost, until Bruce Willis’ RJ Racoon decides to give Hammy an energy drink. Collectively, the audience sighs: the loud, shrieking, obnoxious rodent is about to become louder, shriekier and more obnoxious for a chaotic finale.
But as he guzzles it down amid a Jim Carrey-style seizure and we await the blaring cresendo, the film jolts to an unexpected stop. The world stops turning, and the filmmakers instead treat us to events from Hammy’s POV, as he leisurely strolls through the frozen anarchy around him, calmly setting his enemies up for a fall. He even has time to stop for a snack…