17 February 2011

YOGI BEAR- The Schrödinger's Bear Experiment

This is going to be a short one. Largely because there's very little to say about this film that hasn't already been said in my proper review for Den of Geek, but also because even before I wrote that other review, there's very little to say about this film that would surprise anyone.

Yogi Bear is shit. If that's all you need to know about the film, then come back tomorrow when I'll be talking about the Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston romcom vehicle Just Go With It. But if you'll have a little more patience, maybe we can talk cod quantum mechanics and get some interesting scientific discourse out of the turmoil.

Here's a video you might have already seen. Courtesy of YouTube user estefez, it's an unofficial alternate ending to Yogi Bear that plays out something like the death of Jesse James in Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. With nothing short of ridiculous optimism, I wondered if I could expect that ending into the actual film, in a Schrödinger's Cat style experiment.

So as long as I couldn't see the ending, it could be the death scene AND something much less interesting simultaneously. Up until the ending though, we all see the film as a closed box, looking a bit like this...

It's a talking bear pictured above, which is for some silly reason, the least of Yogi Bear's plot, which is more concerned with environmental messages and hackneyed "They're going to kill trees unless we stop Them!" gubbins. Given the carbon emissions that probably came from the production of this debacle, the closest it comes to being green is in recycling plots and gags that we've seen before in other films; other rubbish films, for that matter.

Its reluctance to bring in hip pop culture references to modernise the character is as close to charm the film ever gets, in between Dan Aykroyd's anybody-could-do-this impression of the title character and the predictable joyless mush that is the script. Justin Timberlake, Anna Faris and Stephen Daly might be trying harder than the rest of the cast, but there's only so much you can do with a script that looks for all the world like it was written with Crayolas.

It's not merely a case of over-analysing a film intended for children, because my issue with the film, and I think most children would agree, is that children are smarter than this film. These are children who flocked to see Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon in the last 12 months. You can't give kids Smarties and then go back to giving them radishes at snack time, just as you can't go from showing them proper family films to expecting them to just sit there and endure Yogi Bear.

Still, if it's that unpleasant, perhaps the fundamental misunderstanding that was my Schrödinger's Bear experiment could pay off. The 3D puts you right there in the film, right? Maybe if I expected that ending enough, it could transpire?

Alas, however much you expect this...

... you're still gonna end up with this.

The bottom line is, watching the title character tool around for any sustained period will make you wish for that ending instead of expecting it, and that's potentially where the theory falls down. My experiment was a failure, but then so is this film. Give it a miss, eh?

Yogi Bear is now showing in 2D and 3D at cinemas nationwide.
If you've seen Yogi Bear, why not share your comments below?

I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch anything I wouldn't watch.

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