Oscar winning actor Robert DeNiro’s new film puts him in the role of an evil Hitler-like villain obsessed with world domination. The only thing standing in his way are a moose and a flying squirrel. This is the motion picture based on a TV cartoon that no one was clamoring for, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. If you’ve ever seen the classic cartoon, the storytelling is not much different here, you know, the cute ramblings of the narrator, self-referential humor, impossible exploits, which worked well in the animated series in the sixties. In this case, instead of humorous little seven-minute cartoon segments, we’re stuck with an excruciating 90-minute movie.
The evil no-goodniks from Pottsylvania are brought into 3-D reality by Janeane Garofalo who plays an evil Hollywood studio executive — Fearless Leader played by Robert DeNiro, Boris Badinov played by Jason Alexander and Natasha who is admittedly hot as played by Rene Russo. What the hell were these world class actors thinking?! DeNiro even redoes his famous, “You talkin’ to me?” speech from Taxi Driver verbatim and it’s actually pretty sad. Fearless Leader’s plan for world domination involves broadcasting hypnotic waves from a television station called RBTV, which stands for “Really Bad Television”, in an effort to convince the American public to vote for him.
Karen Sympathy, a spunky FBI agent, is sent to bring Rocky and Bullwinkle into the real world to try to foil their plans just as they have done in all the cartoons. The rest of the film involves the wacky road trip adventures of the 400 pound moose and his flying squirrel buddy. All of this adds up to a story we don’t care about with nothing particularly involving and about two laughs both in the first ten minutes.
When you see a comedy, you expect to hear laughter from an audience. When I saw the Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, I heard the sound of crickets chirping. CHIRP! CHIRP! (Silence.) CHIRP! CHIRP! (Silence.) Yeah, it was that unfunny.