Well, I had the pleasure of seeing this movie in a theater before the theater opened. I work for an electrical contracting company and we recently finished a new Wehrenberg theater in Dardenne Prairie, MO. Since we worked on it, we got to go to the family and crew night for free. It is a nice theater with a lot of color. Any way, I went to Open Season with some co-workers due to it was the only movie that no one had seen.
First off, this story is nothing new. I know that it is a kids movie, but still, I was bored. I like animated movies (see my Over the Hedge review). I just thought this one was boring and over done. Martin Lawrence was a horrible voice actor. Yet, Ashton was not that bad. Martin is a better live actor than Ashton, but in this circumstance, Ashton was better.
The story centers around Boog, a bear that was rescued as a cub by a park ranger named Beth, voiced by Debra Messing. She raises him and trains him. They perform an act in town. After a performance, they stop at the sheriff office. This is where poor old Elliot. A deer that was hit by a car and broke off one of his antlers. He is strapped to the hood of the truck driven by the law-breaking hunter Shaw, voiced by Gary Sinise. Boog frees Elliiot and so begins the mayhem.
That night, Elliot "frees" Boog and they go downtown and tear up the town, literally. This is the first warning given by the sheriff to Beth about letting Boog go. Then the next day, Shaw is trying to catch/kill Elliot, and Elliot ends up ruining Beth and Boog's performance and making Beth free Boog. She drops them off via helicopter above the falls so that the hunters will not get them. Well, more mayhem ensues while Boog tries to find his way back to the city and Elliot faces his demons in the forest. They end up at the bottom of the falls and hunting season Opens. They then have to fight for their lives. At the end, Boog has to decide where he is going to live.
It was fairly funny, but nothing that had me laughing as I did at Over the Hedge. All in all, it was a decent family film, but not in the league of Finding Nemo, Toy Story, or Shrek.
Verdict: Worth the matinee prices for you and your little one.