Envy (2004) Poster


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This movie is secretly brilliant
eornad-17 February 2011
The central image of this movie is a dog taking a crap. Knowing this, I can't imagine how anyone could judge Envy by the same criteria as a "real" movie. This movie is stupid and it knows it's stupid. It's fully aware of that fact, so don't bother using that as a critique. Accept the stupidity into your heart and let this film melt your brain with comedy. In many mainstream comedies, audiences have to wade through some cheesy or worn out plot to get to the funny stuff. But at the end of the day the stories these movies are telling aren't really any good, they're merely a labored suggestion of substance. Ultimately the reason we watch them is to see some funny performers doing funny things, not for the narrative. However good a movie like the 40-Year-Old Virgin maybe, Bergman it ain't! The story only really functions to support the comedy. So then why not make a joke out of the plot too? Why not make a comedy that is one long extended joke? Just enjoy the insanity of the brilliant cast and be thankful that Envy has the common decency to forgo the usual pretense of profundity and focus on poop jokes instead.

Now this next point may be a harder argument to make and may contradict my last point, but if you do look closely at the recurring gags and images in Envy, the dare-I-say motifs of the film, you might find that it is actually a very nasty spoof of our consumer culture. Plus, the main conflict of the film is that the characters have such a hard time reconciling their greed for material possessions and their moral obligations to other human beings. Jack Black's character even utters a line that I think many people actually live by: "Nice things make life better." So perhaps Envy is secretly brilliant and is merely hiding behind a mask of utter stupidity. That would make it the inverse of most movies out there today (I'm thinking of Inception right now).
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What an odd film!
shawn921030 April 2004
I just saw this movie at a sneak preview and all I can say is..."What did I just watch????" And I mean that in a good and bad way.

The plot is really simple. Stiller and Black play friends/neighbors. Stiller is the focused, hardworker while Black is a dreamer. Black invents this idea to create a spray that erases poo. The idea becomes very popular, and Black becomes very rich. The extravagant lifestyle that Black gains and the fact that he still tries to be best friends with Stiller causes Stiller to become crazy with envy.

As I said, the plot is simple. Everything else is plain odd. The direction is odd, with a weird rotating opening shot to out-of-nowhere sped up sequences. The dialouge and the acting is very odd; odd in a rambling sort of way. And the sound track is the oddest thing in the movie, from the weird "Envy" song that keeps on reappearing to the scene where you think you're going to hear a classic 80's song but suddenly it's in Japanese.

So, the true question is this...is odd funny? That depends purely on the individual. I was cracking up at the shear unwavering weirdness of the movie. After the screening I heard people call it horribly unfunny and glad that it was free. Strangely, I understood their point. There are no jokes whatsoever, so if you aren't hooked by the uniqueness of it all, you will hate this movie. Absolutely hate it.

This movie is destined to lose a lot of money at the box office and become a DVD cult classic. If you can laugh at a movie with no real jokes, like Cable Guy or Punch Drunk Love, then I suggest you see it. If you don't, run away from this movie. It'll only make you mad.
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BigRed20014 May 2004
Any Levinson fan should check this film out. Sure its your typical stupid comedy, but thats exactly what its intended to be. Anyone who enjoyed Toys or Bandits will probably enjoy this film.

Sure its not the greatest, but I do believe it is worth watching. Even from a directing standpoint its a pretty decent film.

The two main characters, Jack Black (Nick Vanderpark) and Ben Stiller (Tim Dingman) play complete opposites. From the first moment of the film you begin to see the differences between their lives. I found all of these little differences entertaining to watch.

Don't believe the reviews or what others are saying....go see it for yourself and find out.

6.5 out of 10
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No Wonder Christopher Walken Plays in This
alexkolokotronis22 April 2008
This could be looked at in many different ways. This movie sucks, its good or its just plain weird. The third one probably explains this movie best. It has strange themes and just has a strange plot. So who else but Christopher Walken would play in this no matter how bad, average or even how good it might be.

The acting was what you would expect especially out of Ben Stiller. Jack Black I have always liked so you know what you will get out of him but this is not bad. Christopher Walken is always off the wall. He is always enjoyable to watch no matter how bad the movie is. Comedy wise it is somewhat funny. This of course meaning that it does have its moments (though very few) but can get a little over top here and there which makes me feel like the movie is just desperate for laughs but of course not in a good way.

The directing was average as well. Barry Levinson is a slightly overrated director and really did not do a good job here. This movie seemed that it had a lot more potential and he did not do much to reach it. Just very average and did not seem like a lot of effort was put into making this film.

The writing is the key to a good comedy. Obviously that means the writing here failed. At best it is below average. Considering it does have its moments it was not too horrible. That is never a good thing to say about a movie though.

If not for Christopher Walken and it stupid ridiculous ending I would have given it a lower rating. He is always quite a character in his movies. Stil this is just a whacked out strange movie with strange characters that really don't go anywhere. Not completely horrible but I would not really recommend it though because it is a very forgettable movie.
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Look out Ishtar, you've got competition!
megafurry18 November 2004
This is my first movie review on IMDb. I was forced to register after watching this movie. I cannot in good conscience allow this movie to be unreviewed by me. The people must be warned!

First of all, my rating is: 0 (as in "zero")

I love Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Rachel Weis, and Christopher Walken, and yet, I hated this movie. There is a plot, but who cares when there's no script. The dialogue is unreal and plain boring, the situations are contrived, the flow of events is slow and somewhat arbitrary, the characters are unsympathetic and uninteresting, and the story, although based on a good premise, is stupid. This movie is a piece of poo.

Never mind wasting MONEY on this movie, it's not even worth your TIME spent watching it. Please do not see it... I beg of you!
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Misfires across every aspect to produce a pointless film whose only merit is how forgettable it is
bob the moo18 July 2007
Tim Dingman and Nick Vanderpark are neighbours and colleagues working down at 3M in middle-management jobs with vague prospects for more. Tim scores highly across the board on his performance chart, but dreamer Nick flunks on focus. Constantly discussing his pipe-dreams, Nick has worn down Tim to the point where he doesn't listen any more. However when Nick does hit on something, Tim ignores the chance to invest. Eighteen months later and Nick is rich beyond his wildest dreams and has covered his house across the street into a mansion. Meanwhile Tim has been left feeling inadequate and jealous of Nick's success.

I'm surprised by the amount of hate put aside for this film, not because it is bad but more because, having seen it, I'm struggling to have any strong feelings towards it one way or another as it is all very bland and misfiring. I can understand why professional critics laid into it; it is not that often that they sees stars fall so when someone has a high-profile flop, it is almost like a competition to write the most savage review – and of course the public mostly follow suit at first. Anyway, I'm not quite sure what the plot is here because it seems to be being made up as it goes along and there is no flow to it.

Worse than this, there are no real laughs either. Occasionally (and I mean very occasionally) there are some slightly amusing moments but mostly it is just one misfired attempt at humour after another and the overwhelming impact on me was one of inducing boredom. The cast are wasted with the material, which is where the weakness lies. Stiller needed to produce a real person and then move him into extremes in the way that has worked for him before. Here though he cannot find the person and instead he just mugs his way through. Black is left on the sidelines to occasionally act like a big kid, he doesn't suit the role and he deserved something better but he is nothing compared to the waste of the fine actress Weisz, who hopefully at least had fun on this cause I can't imagine this film brought her anything else. Walken is OK but only because he is being "Walken" throughout – which is still fun because he is now like someone doing a really good impression of Christopher Walken, which is fun I guess.

Overall then a bad film but not in the ranting "burning torches in the street" sense that some reviewers have done but just in the "pointless wasted of time with nothing at all of value" sense. At best it amuses but mostly every aspect of it misfires most of the time and it only succeeded in making me bored.
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Slightly Good and Quietly Funny
b5txfan7 December 2004
Saw it in May 04 when it first came out (yes in an empty theater) and thought it was quietly funny with a moral lesson. Not for everyone but if you like Stiler, Black or Walken, see the movie and judge for yourself. If you are a critic and you are looking for art, forget it. If you are looking for a rainy night rental movie that you can eat some cheap popcorn and diet coke to, then this is a movie you can enjoy. You don't have to think too hard to enjoy the comedy and the moral is easy to pick up on. It won't win any awards nor go down in cinema history as a gem but it's worth the price of the rent and don't forget to rewind. I give it 7 out of 10 Frogs.
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Future Cult Classic
christianayers3 August 2006
Cult classics are nearly impossible to predict. Who could guess that Vision Quest, Fight Club, and 2001: A Space Oddysey, movies that were panned by critics and audiences alike upon their release, would become immensely popular? Like many IMDBers, I consider myself a movie expert. Unlike the majority of those who hated Envy(evidenced by a dismal 4.4 rating), I found Envy to be one of the funniest movies in the last decade.

The plot of the movie is ridiculous. The dialogue isn't clever, the scenes have little continuity, and the script seems like it was written by a fourth grader. But that's exactly why the movie is so hilarious. You see, in order to appreciate the accidental genius of Envy, you have to enjoy the movie from an ironically-detached point of view.

Why do I love Envy? Because the movie is bad to the point that it becomes good. This is the recipe for a cult classic, and Envy definitely fits the bill.
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Say what you want, Envy is hilarious!
Frinkie15 November 2005
Was the script more fitting for a 30 minute sitcom? Yes, but they still make it work! I thought the actors did a fantastic job with an otherwise bland script, especially Jack Black and Christopher Walken. Most people on the board seem to really hate this film. I personally can't see how that could be, but Envy is just one of those film that you either love it or hate it. Much like Napoleon Dynamite and every Leslie Neilsen movie ever made. You either think it's one of the worst movies ever made or one of the funniest. Don't avoid this movie because of the reviews. Watch it and see if you're one of the ones who really like it! If you do, I guarantee it's worth your money. If you don't like it... well, now you know.
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yashicad2 June 2005
I couldn't wait to put this movie in my DVD player when I rented it. Then after I started it, I couldn't wait to get it OUT of my DVD player. Actually I watched all of the movie. My wife and I kept waiting and waiting for something funny to happen, but nothing funny ever does. The box read like the it would be really funny. The premise of the movie sound good. Ben Stiller is funny. Jack Black is funny. How could this movie miss? Well....it does miss! This is the unfunniest "comedy" I have ever watched. Nobody I have talked with thought it was even slightly funny. It is just a really lame movie. Trust me. Avoide it....AVOIDE IT!!
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cj-11030 April 2004
Despite the bad reviews I went to see this movie and was surprised on how funny it was. With brilliant actors and storyline this movie tops my list for 2004.

The characters were written perfectly, including the unforgettable Natalie Vanderpark played by Amy Poler. Christopher Walken plays J-Man who advises Nick Vanderpark (Jack Black), a true Walken original. Ben Stiller plays Tim Dingman, they jealous friend, his character reminded me of his in "Duplex" - But all in all, very funny.

I wonder how anyone could rate this file below a 6. I am totally surprised how good it was, I am not a a fan of the director, but in this case the actors COMPLETLY make up for it. This will be a classic for a long time. 9/10
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My god, this was horrible.
thegoonnextdoor4 May 2004
Bad comic misfire that is worse than what was written in the reviews. Ben Stiller and Jack Black should be ashamed of themselves for even being in this film, and Barry Levinson should be reprimanded some how for what he did to this movie. Ben Stiller should get a new angle because his comic behavior getting real tire and it is real evident here that he should start talking very hard to his agent about his roles, and Jack Black should consider not doing the dumb fun guy roles any more because that is getting tired as well. Jack was great in the movie School of Rock but he is horrible here, and I hope this is a lesson for him to pick his scripts wisely. The whole movie is a disaster, and most of the comedy is D.O.A on arrival. The only actors in the whole film who do a somewhat fine job is Christopher Walken, who does over do it in the loony department, and Rachel Weisz, who manages to be shine, and be funny in a role that is really more of a extended cameo than a supporting role.

I used to have a lot of respect for Barry Levinson as a director but after this, and the misfire Bandits with Bruce Willis, I lost almost all of it. He manages to make good actors look bad with scripts that are horrible, and really bad direction that has no weight what so ever. People should put the blame on him for how bad the movie came out.
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3.7 out of 10 is right
mm-3924 May 2004
This movie ranks low with Weekend at Burnie's. The author who said he wished that there was a product that would make bad comedies like this vapoorise is right. Only reason I gave this movie a 3 was the excellent acting of Christopher Walken as the J man. Why was this movie made could be a comedy? Most of the film is just not funny. I was looking for a joke that was never there. Was the script better or did the actors just took the money and ran? At least it was a double feature at the drive in. At $7.50 that's 3.75 a movie better than a video rental. At least the first feature was shrek 2, which my wife will review. check for the review on my movie list. This movie is atypical 2nd feature at the drive in. 3 out of 10. Miss this one. Mike
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cael_cyndar_200430 January 2006
This has to be the most brutally unfunny "comedy" I've ever seen in my life. Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Christopher Walken as a crazed homeless man CAN'T make me laugh? Something's got to be wrong with this picture. This is the only movie I've ever felt like walking out of. I used free passes, and still felt like I wanted my money back. I can wholeheartedly say that the only movie I've ever seen worse than this one was HOUSE OF THE DEAD. The. ONLY. worse. movie. I laughed very slightly at the merry-go-round scene, and that's it. Spending 2 hours in something billed as a comedy should get you more than one laugh, right? I don't know, I guess the filmmakers thought that "flan" was a funny word, or something. And the other running joke really is beating a dead horse--literally.
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while not great...
MLDinTN18 April 2005
this movie doesn't deserve to be called the worst ever. This weekend I saw two movies that were less entertaining than Envy: they were Dickie Roberts and Van Hellsing. Now, those two movies were just stupid. While Envy didn't really make me laugh, I did find it somewhat entertaining. All the things Nick buys once he makes his millions was funny. Plus, just the concept and demonstration of his invention was amusing. And all the people picketing at his wife's political office asking "where does the **it go", which is exactly what Tim asks. I didn't really care for Christopher Walken's character. I didn't think the J-man added much.

FINAL VERDICT: I'm not sure why this movie has gotten the reputation as being one of the worst movies ever. I don't think it is. So, if you like movies that really don't require brain power, then I recommend this one.
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No-one's going envy this strained tedium
paulnewman200112 January 2005
How can Barry Levinson possibly assemble white-hot comedy talents Ben Stiller and Jack Black, the gorgeous Rachel Weisz, old pro Christopher Walken and still deliver such a humourless stinker?

Stiller and Black are friends until the latter invents a spray to make dog mess vanish and becomes a conspicuous consuming multi-millionaire.

The premises is thin but sound enough in the right hands to have been a springboard for some great bitching between the two stars but all concerned overplay every hand, every chance they can.

Stiller and Black are simply not funny for way too much of the time, Weisz looks sensational as always but is criminally underused and, with the exception of Walken as a batty barfly who urges Stiller's character to take revenge, it's a turgid trudge to the end of this strained farce.
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Perhaps you had high expectations?
maxshiz8 May 2004
When I first heard about a movie with Ben Stiller and Jack Black, yeah, I got my hopes up. I love these guys. Then I'd heard it started getting terrible reviews and my hopes sank. I think this is a necessary step to enjoying the movie. Because whoever gives it a negative review is someone who was clearly expecting a different movie, and rather than enjoy what they got, they complained about what they didn't. The comedy is SUPER dead-pan. If you're expecting Ben Stiller out of 'Something about Mary' or Jack Black out of 'Tenacious D', stop. Jack Black, by Jack Black standards, is in a coma in this movie. While some people want to see him scream and yell and all that (which is great), I found it just as funny that he was being 3/4's serious.

Quite unexpectedly, Christopher Walken made this movie. His personality was spot-on. This movie quite reminded me of another movie, which I can't quite remember unfortunately, but in some ways it also reminded me of Office Space. The dry, normal guy humor. "What would you do if you had a million dollars?" "Two chicks at the same time." And in some ways it reminds me of another recent Ben Stiller movie, Starsky and Hutch. It took me awhile to get into Starsky, because I thought it was meant to be a parody. Once I realised it was "serious" I had a lot more fun with it. And I laughed as much as Starsky, if not more, in Envy.
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You know what..this movie wasn't that bad
Deftones_Guy1017 May 2004
I'd just like to comment on this movie. I was surprised on how funny it was. I mean, yes..most people who saw this movie, probably thought it was horrible, I on the other hand, enjoyed it. It was a very different style of directing, acting, and screen play. Comm'on, who thinks up Vapoorise..thats gold! hahahaa..anyways, Ben Stiller (even though, he paid some of his own money so that the movie would not be put out) was funny as always, he kept his character through the whole thing. Even though i'm not too much of a Jack Black fan, he was pretty funny as well, he did go a bit overboard, but its jack black what can you do..heh..and you cant forget about the lovly Rachel Weisz..oh baby she's smoking! Expecially when she wants SEX ON A LAUNDRY MACHINE..and to save the best for last..the one and only Christopher Walken...well, he speaks for him self for a description. I also thought the story was very well done, all the problems that were faced between black and stiller were good...I like the whole "I didn't do it" lie, which grows into a big huge problem. I'm sorry i couldnt give you too much of a description of the movie, but its worth seeing if you have a ciniplex near you, where you pay like 7 bucks. I had some really good laughs, and all the characters worked well together. The End..or is it..DUN DUN DUN!!
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I liked this movie!
literati-17 May 2004
I know the critics didn't like this movie, but I wonder why. I liked it a lot. This movie was funny on a lot of levels. The visuals of the mansion built under the power lines, the out of control merry-go-round, the vanishing poop, and the dead horse were hilarious. The dialog was funny. The performances were good -- all three actors played it "straight". Uncharacteristically, Jack Black played it dead-pan, making it even more funny. Even the music was funny. And like a good comedy, there was a moral gently told. There are so many formula comedies, it is hard to distinguish one from the other. This one definitely stands by itself. I recommend it to anyone who needs a good laugh and who don't take movies or themselves too seriously.
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The Modern Day Ishtar -- But In a Good Way
pdrdes20 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Like Ishtar and King of Comedy, other great, misunderstood comedies, Envy has great performances by two actors playing essentially, losers (may be too harsh a word, I will call them suburban under-achievers).

This film was a dark comedy gem, and I'm not sure what people expect. I relish seeing a major studio comedy that isn't filled with obvious humor, and I believe that the small moments in this movie make it worthwhile. The look on Stiller's face when he sees the dog doo disappear for the first time captures a moment, a moment that most people should be able to recognize in themselves. Yes, it was a fairly simple story, but it examined the root of envy in a really interesting way. There were a lot of great scenes (the J-Man's decrepit "cabin by the lake", Corky's unceremonious burial, Weitz's wife role, and Walken's J-Man -- all great stuff.

I can't stand people that get on IMDb and mercilessly trash films when they have absolutely no idea what it takes to make one. I will take Envy over almost any of the top ten grossing comedies of the year (save Napoleon Dynamite.) It's wittier, wackier, and an offbeat, enjoyable gem.

Remember this people; Most times, Popular doesn't equal Good.
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"They should have used VA-POO-RIZE on this turd"
Matt_Layden29 October 2005
Tim and Nick, best friends, neighbors and co-workers, whose equal footing is suddenly tripped up when one of Nick's get-rich-quick schemes actually succeeds: Vapoorize, a spray that literally makes dog crap, or any other kind for that matter, evaporate into thin air. Tim, who had scoffed at Nick's idea and passed on an opportunity to get in on the deal, can only watch as Nick's fortune and Tim's own envy grow to equally outrageous proportions.

When you hear of a movie that stars two comedic power houses such as Jack Black and Ben Stiller, a gifted director, Barry Levinson, and the one and only Mr. Christpoher Walken, you'd think that it would make for a sure fire hit. Unfortunately, we get a film that is so utterly horrible that it had to be publicly apologized for.

A lot of Ben Stiller movies are the same, he'll play a loser (Envy), a weirdo (Zoolander/dodgeball) or a bad things happen to him guy (Meet the Parents/There's something about mary). But when put into the right cast and with the right creative team, you can find a success with him (Royal Tenenbaums). Why couldn't the creative team behind ENVY pull off another hit for Stiller, well the main problem would be the fact that it is not funny.

The only funny parts of the film, come from a guy that gets shot with an arrow, then probably walked off the set. Walken is the only redeeming factor in this trash. Weisz and Stiller have no connection and are not believable as a married couple. Jack Black tries the best he could with the material written, but there is only so far that one man can go....he goes nowhere.

Levinson should have sensed from the beginning that this wasn't going to fly and bail, same with the cast, but they thought that they could pull it off because hey, we got two funny guys in one movie here. Straight from the beginning it throws useless stupid jokes at you "Don't taste my pants." It's delivery isn't the best either.

When you have yourself a comedy with big names attached, you would think that someone somewhere would at least try to make it funny, in one little bit. The dialogue is terrible, at no point do any of these jokes hit the nail on the head. Walken is only funny because he is Walken. The way he speaks, the tone of his voice, his delivery makes the character what he is, not what the poor written dialogue is.

This turd is so bad, that it didn't even take the worst movie of 2004 spot. That's was the crap fest CATWOMAN, at least for CATWOMAN is can say that it was the worst movie of 2004, ENVY has absolutely nothing to say for itself. If any movie is to make you want your money back, hit your head on a table and would make you rather watch a piece of crap float around in a toilet bowl, ENVY is it.
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toxic poo spray should be used on all copies of this film
sblack-143 October 2005
I am deeply saddened that any time or effort was spent on the production of this movie - I wonder what all of these amazing and funny, great actors were thinking while they were filming? Surely they saw no campy or humorous merit in it whatsoever. Were they thinking "this really bites BUT I'm getting some nice coin for it - so what the heck?!" I think they have compromised themselves to some degree by appearing in a production with such awful dialogue and direction. Not to mention horrible clothing and (cheap) sets.

I don't want my DVD rental money back - I want the one hundred and something minutes of my life back that I wasted watching this drivel.
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Not totally horrible (I've seen much worse) but still rather poor for a number of reasons
MovieAddict20169 February 2005
"Envy" is bad for a number of reasons. Yes, there are unlikeable characters. That's not the problem. It is that they are unlikeable and we do not care for them at all. "The War of the Roses" featured unlikeable characters but due to proper introductions we grew to at least find ourselves interested in their fate, whereas in "Envy" the introduction is thin, the characters are never believable, and the plot only makes things worse.

Ben Stiller is simply repulsive in his role and I'm a fan of his work most of the time. Stiller campaigned to have this released straight-to-video and now I can see why. The movie proposes that he's "best friends" with Jack Black, but from the first five minutes we are given footage that seems to indicate Stiller hates Black. I thought this would develop into some sort of one-sided relationship (a la "The Cable Guy") but it never does, instead Stiller insists he's his "best friend" and I felt confused as he seemed to treat Black like, well, "poo." The movie's plot is ridiculous but it doesn't matter, because it's supposed to be an exaggerated morality tale. Unfortunately the message is lost in the mess. Walken gives a good performance but Black is off-key and annoying (and I usually find him very funny). No, it's not a horrible film but I still can't believe Barry Levinson ("Rain Man," "Sleepers") is responsible for this - it's not one of the worst films of all time but it could certainly be a whole lot better. I wish Va-Poo-Rize did exist - so we could make this film disappear forever....
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Shooting A Dead Horse
rcraig6231 July 2005
I admit to liking a lot of the so-called "frat-pack" movies. No matter how bad they are, I can find something to like about Ben Stiller or Owen Wilson or Vince Vaughn or Will Ferrell or Jack Black. But "Envy" just left me about as cold as the white horse that Ben disposed of. This time, it's Ben and Jack Black as a couple of nutty neighbors, one of whom (Black) discovers a aerosol spray to make animal poop disappear and becomes incredibly wealthy while the other (Stiller) writhes in envy. That's supposedly the plot, but then it veers off in other directions that don't really make much sense.

I guess the 'Vapoorize' thing is sort of amusing at first. The problem is, they try to sustain the gag for the whole picture (Black has a license plate that reads 'Caca King') and it gets fairly tiresome. But even Ben and Jack are used poorly; the energy level for both of their performances seems significantly dialed down. The two best performances by far are Rachel Weisz and Chris Walken. Walken's neo-hippie-dippie guy is so offbeat and so well-modulated a performance that it really never suggests any of Walken's other familiar nutcase characters. It's completely unique, yet comes across as unmistakably Walken. And Weisz is about the best actress in the business that nobody knows about. Even with limited screen time, she still dominates every scene she's in.

The whole crux of the so-called drama is that Ben, in a jealous drunken stupor, accidentally shoots Jack's prize white stallion, and then goes to ridiculous lengths to cover it up, fearing his best friend will find out and cut him dead. But the plot twist isn't believable because there's nothing about Jack's character to indicate that he would do such a thing. He plays such a sweet guy that it renders the whole excruciating horse chase null and void. You discount it completely. It's all filler. And what's the point of the out-of-control merry-go-round, except that Barry Levinson wants us to know that he's seen "Strangers on a Train"? The screenplay is painfully bad and the acting of the two leads poorly directed. Someone with Levinson's track record should know better. Maybe someone will invent something to make this film disappear. Oh, wait, they already have.
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There's no accounting for humor
=G=10 October 2004
"Envy" is a silly comedy about a couple of best friend couples who live in identical tract homes on a cul de sac, leading identical lives until one of them invents an aerosol alternative to the pooper scooper, "Vapoorize", which makes feces vanish into thin air. Jack Black is his usual comedic self as the inventor who quickly climbs to mogul status while his buddy, Stiller, languishes in relative ordinariness, green with envy. Featuring a good cast, sporting the Levinson pedigree, and chock full of inany zany nonsense, "Envy" shoulda been more than the colossal bomb which, according to critics and public alike, stinks so bad it could be "vapoorized". I laughed a lot but the, hey, that's just me. Not recommendable based on the lousy results from just about everyone. (C+)
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