It’s Bananas… – Russell Madness (2015)

It’s everything I wanted from a dumb talking animal movie.  So this is about a family that inherits an old arena.  A dog wanders into their lives, and it turns out that he’s pretty good at wrestling.  With the help of a talking monkey, they are going to restore the old family wrestling business.  I watched this with my wife at the height of my Oscar crunch, and with good reason: it was on Netflix, and I needed a good, dumb movie to help me counterbalance all of the prestigious works I had been taking in recently.  You know, the Yin to the Yang.  While my wife fell asleep about halfway through, I stuck it through till the end, and it was everything I hoped it would be.

1It’s a wrestling dog movie, I don’t know what else you could possibly be expecting.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is by no means a good movie, and it does overstay its welcome, even at a brief 92-minute runtime.  It’s the same grade as the movies that get made to be released directly to the Disney channel, but it’s so absurd and bizarre that the only reaction that my brain could have was to laugh, if only as a coping mechanism.  There’s a recurring dog urine joke and there are puns.  SO many puns.  There is a mischievous talking monkey in this, and I had no rightly idea that you could make this many puns about bananas.  If you take a shot every time there is banana pun in this, I promise you, you would be passed out on the floor with alcohol poisoning before the end credits role.

2I’m not making any of this up.

The most hilarious thing about this is that they don’t even understand the basic concepts of wrestling.  Completely ignoring the fact that this is a dog participating in an event for humans, they have the matches continue king of the hill style, i.e. if you win, you immediately fight the next contender.  I’ve no wrestling expert, but I’ve never seen any event like that, and I’m somebody who has actually attended a wrestling event live before.  Proving the fact that he will star in anything, this also features a small role from Fred Willard as an announcer, and all it does is add to the preposterous nature of this story.  It’s by no means a good movie, but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t able to laugh at it, if not with it.

Russell Madness (2015) **1/2

– Critic for Hire


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