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DEATH TO SMOOCHY, 2002
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DEATH TO SMOOCHY, 2002
Movie Review
Directed by Danny DeVito
Starring: Edward Norton, Robin Williams
Review by Russell Hill




SYNOPSIS:

Fired in disgrace, kids show host Randolph Smiley finds himself out on the street, while his replacement Sheldon Mopes, finds himself on the fast track to success with a new hit show as the proud purple rhino Smoochy. But things take a turn for the worst when Sheldon finds out that some of the people that he works with, and some he doesn't know he's working for, are all in it for the money. Meanwhile, Randolph is slowly turning insane with his only thoughts focusing on killing Smoochy and getting back to his life of luxury.

REVIEW:

A movie that combines adult humour with some extremely side-splitting moments that might make you laugh so hard your tears will come by the bucketful, this is no run of the mill comedy. More of a surreal comedy; a Su-medy if you may.

A fan of Williams for years, it sure was great to see him combining his more-dramatic abilities with the crazy, madcap personality we have all grown to know and love. Well, some people might dislike the guy but I donít see any reason as to why they should. Anyway, the film does boast a stellar cast. Edward Norton, the man whoís one of the finest actors of his generation, plays a very naÔve person who sees only the best in people. Even when things turn for the worst, he still sees the silver lining rather than cast his mind on the negativity of the situation in which he finds himself in. It seems strange that the same man who crushed a manís face on a sidewalk in ďAmerican History XĒ pulls off the role of an optimistic childrenís entertainer, who you just canít dislike, with ease. 2009 is the year of his fortieth birthday, and hopefully he will continue to put in performances like this.

Keener is the films token totty and, despite her age being closer to fifty when this film was released, really does demonstrate that you donít have to be in the 20-25 age range to be regarded as beautiful. Enough of the salivating, her performance as Nortonís work colleague who first dislikes Norton but then starts to love him, like I said itís very difficult not

to like Nortonís character, is nothing short of first-class. Hers is a Jekyll and Hyde performance, Hyde being the first half and Jekyll the second, but this no detriment on her whatsoever. Keener pulls it off with ease, as did Bogart and Brando did when they were putting their craft to work.

What really stands out in this film is the blatant anti-Barney the Dinosaur mentality. Iím not exactly his biggest fan, after all Iím not really part of his key demographic, but Adam Resnickís script is a thing of beauty. If you donít like extensive swearing, then this movie might possibly not be your thing. Williams swears as if it is running out of fashion, but only does so when he is annoyed at Smoochy. Who can say they havenít cursed when they have been angry? I certainly havenít, and have known a few preachers in my time. But, even if you donít like swearing, it might be wise to get past your disgruntlement and concentrate on the fact that what ďDeath to SmoochyĒ offers is a very fine movie which offers you moments of humour and dark moments of a man desperate to get back on the straight and narrow, as well as mocking Barney the Dinosaur. What more would you need from a movie?

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