Envy Barry Levinson

There's nothing to be envious of with Envy. The premise has potential but the movie and actors fall flat. Tim (Ben Stiller) and Nick (Jack Black) are best friends, they live next door to each other, work at the same factory and their families do everything together. Nick is a dreamer who comes up with one hair-brained scheme after another, while Tim is a focused micro-manager. One of Nick's ideas — a product called Va-poo-rize that magically dissolves doggie doo-doo — makes him a multi-millionaire. Tim, who chose not to invest a paltry $2,000, is left envious and literally in the shadow of the enormous mansion built next door. He doesn't handle it well. After a drunken night in a bar where he meets the "J-Man" (Christopher Walken), a sympathetic homeless man who offers crappy advice, Tim accidentally kills Nick's white horse Corky. Envy is a half-hearted attempt to create a madcap comedy that is neither madcap nor very funny. There are moments that work — most of them courtesy of Walken — but that's about it. This movie is filled with false enthusiasm, as if bright colours and some slapstick will distract the viewer from a rotten script and bad acting. The only reason I'm not making a reference to Va-poo-rizing the script is that it's already been said. The DVD extras aren't very exciting either. They include the standard production notes, cast and crew biographies and "The Best of Black," which is merely a repeat of the not-so-funny clips from the movie. I think the filmmakers, including director Barry Levinson, just couldn't be bothered. Envy sat on studio shelves for two years and only hit theatres after the success of School of Rock. In my opinion, if they couldn't be bothered with the movie, why should we? (Dreamworks/Universal)