Children’s television can be a cut-throat world as Rainbow Randolph is about to find out. After being fired over a bribery scandal, Randolph is replaced by Smoochy, a purple rhinoceros who is squeaky clean despite Randolph’s efforts to smear his name and gain his time-slot back. And when Smoochy has an affair with his ex-lover Randolph goes crazy with jealousy.
Robin Williams (Randolph), Edward Norton (Smoochy), Catherine Keener (Nora), Danny DeVito (Burke), Jon Stewart (Marion), Pam Ferris (Tommy), Danny Woodburn (Angelo), Michael Rispoli (Spinner), Harvey Fierstein (Merv), Vincent Schiavelli (Buggy).
Death to Smoochy may sound like something of a kids film but this is no kids film. Randolph is a kids entertainment star by day, a foul mouthed sleazeball by night who is all about the money. The movie really is less about the plot than it is about the dark humor and irony. After some mild character development the film jumps right to the plot with Randolph being fired. Once Smoochy is put in his place the action spikes and the story maintains a good pace right up to the Happy-Ever-After ending that was somewhat anticlimactic after all the craziness.
Acting was entertaining but not necessarily good. Williams was back in type with solid energy, good comedy, and a foul mouth. Norton was a good straight-man for Williams and brought an interesting contrast to the film. Keener was an interesting protagonist and seemed to have good chemistry with both Williams and Norton. The rest of the supporting cast was interesting though a bit rough in spots.
Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were good with nice quality where needed and silly campy bits as well. Action scenes were minimal but also well done. Dialogue was campy and silly with good dark humor. Sound was good and the soundtrack was amusing.
Overall Death to Smoochy is a goofy, dark comedy that pokes good fun at the children’s television industry. Those who enjoy a light B-movie flavor once in a while will enjoy this the most while those wanting depth or good comedy may be somewhat disappointed.
With plenty of foul language including sexual references save this for the oldest teens and above.
Death to Smoochy is no longer showing in any Littleton Colorado movie theaters.
Official movie site.
Star rating: 3 out of 5
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