DEATH TO SMOOCHY

Brutal Satire Fails to Click

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: March 29, 2002

Starring: Robin Williams, Edward Norton,
Catherine Keener, and Danny
DeVito

Genre: Comedy/Satire

Audience: Adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 104 minutes

Distributor: Warner Bros.

Director: Danny DeVito

Executive Producer:

Producer: Andrew Lazar and Peter
Macgregor-Scott

Writer: Adam Resnick

Address Comments To:

Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros., Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Website: www.movies.warnerbros.com

Content:

(C, B, PC, H, LLL, VV, S, N, AA, D, M) Christian worldview and moral elements diluted by politically correct elements regarding food and health, humanistic moral relativism and excessive foul language from characters surrounding the hero; at least 80 obscenities and 8 mostly strong profanities, obscene gesture, and crude sexual references; much comic violence such as men beat another man with blunt instruments, man shot dead, implied decapitation, attempted assassination, man starts to light himself on fire after pouring gasoline all over his body, fighting, and man slams into brick walls a couple times; implied fornication; upper male nudity in non-sexual context and silhouette of couple taking off their clothes before fornication; alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking; and, murderous Irish gangsters help hero, slander rebuked and corruption exposed.


Summary:

DEATH TO SMOOCHY is a blunt satire of children’s television where a bitter kid show star tries to sabotage his goody two shoes replacement, Smoochy, just when vultures and con men are trying to capitalize on Smoochy’s rising popularity. The darkness, strong foul language and moral relativism in this movie’s story and the other characters overcomes its moral, redemptive hero and worldview.


Review:

DEATH TO SMOOCHY is a blunt, sometimes funny satire of children’s television. Robin Williams plays “Rainbow Randolph,” star of a daytime children's show who loses his job when the FBI exposes him for taking bribes. The foul-mouthed Randolph gets very angry at his replacement, the goody two-shoes Sheldon Mapes, who plays “Smoochy the Rhino.” Randolph tries to sabotage Smoochy, who has a tough time winning over the show’s pretty female producer, Nora, who’s become very cynical about her job.
As Smoochy’s popularity grows, Randolph decides he’s got to slander Sheldon. When that fails, he decides to try more extreme measures. At the same time, Sheldon runs into trouble with the shady vultures trying to capitalize on Smoochy’s popularity. Eventually, they also want to see Smoochy dead. Through it all, Smoochy tries to remain true to his moral values. He even compares Captain Kangaroo to Jesus Christ and asks someone at one point, “What would Jesus do?”
Edward Norton does a fabulous job as Smoochy, but Robin Williams is way over the top as the extremely bitter Randolph, especially in his angry use of strong foul language and very crude sexual language. DEATH TO SMOOCHY ultimately sides with Smoochy’s moral values, but those values include one implied fornication scene with Nora and some politically correct notions about health food. Also, some Irish mobsters help Smoochy get rid of one gangster trying to cash in on his popularity when that gangster mistakenly murders the head mobster’s boxing brother who befriends Smoochy. Thus, the darkness and moral relativism in this movie’s story and the other characters overcomes its moral, redemptive center and premise. This may have been hard to eliminate from such a satire as this, but it could have been done. Here, it is interesting to note that this is the second time Edward Norton has played a Christian-type protagonist, the other being KEEPING THE FAITH, where he also was ultimately undermined by the movie’s mixed worldview messages.


In Brief:

DEATH TO SMOOCHY is a blunt, sometimes funny satire of children’s television. Robin Williams plays “Rainbow Randolph,” star of a daytime children's show who loses his job when the FBI exposes him for taking bribes. The foul-mouthed Randolph gets very angry at his replacement, the goody two-shoes Sheldon Mapes, who plays “Smoochy the Rhino.” As Smoochy’s popularity grows, Randolph decides he’s got to slander Sheldon. When that fails, he decides to try more extreme measures. At the same time, Sheldon runs into trouble with the shady vultures trying to capitalize on Smoochy’s popularity. Through it all, Sheldon remains relatively true to his moral values, including some positive references to Jesus Christ. He barely survives intact physically and emotionally, however.
Edward Norton does a fabulous job as Smoochy, but Robin Williams is way over the top as the extremely bitter Randolph, especially in his angry use of strong foul language and crude sexual language. Also, DEATH TO SMOOCHY ultimately sides with Smoochy’s moral values, but those values include some politically correct elements regarding health food and moral relativism. Thus, the darkness in this movie’s story and the other characters overcomes its moral, redemptive center and premise