The Big Green (1995)

Has it really been two decades since Walter Matthau coached THE BAD 
NEWS BEARS?  Nineteen years and two MIGHTY DUCKS later, the formula is 
still going strong.  POLICE ACADEMY graduate Steve Guttenberg stars as 
a small-town deputy sheriff corralled into co-coaching the school's 
hastily formed soccer team.  His partner-in-crime is the new British 
"exchange teacher" (Olivia D'Abo), a lively lass who has obviously 
seen DANGEROUS MINDS and knows that the best way to gain the respect 
of a disinterested, outer-city audience is to teach them something 
neat.  Like soccer.

Most of the good-natured gags are of the fast-motion variety, such as 
runaway cows and out-of-control lawnmowers.  Kids will laugh at the 
occasional belching bit, while their parents peacefully doze beside 
them.  Other than letting a supporting character named Newt go 
unscathed, what's missing from THE BIG GREEN is a better integration 
of music and comedy.  Instead of a peppy pop score, which would 
arguably work to better effect, most of the action is set to a 
bombastic orchestral score that belongs somewhere else.
Comedy needs music.  Just watch any old Bugs Bunny short.  The Marx 
Brothers knew it.  Mel Brooks knows it.  Unfortunately, the current 
trend is to "overscore."  Lush strings and booming brass in every 
scene, at every moment.  Remember the simple strains of Bizet's 
"Habanera" in the original BAD NEWS BEARS?  These days, it's usually a 
bellowing fanfare that threatens to smother every scene in its path.  
Much like adding frosting to already frosted cake.  

Grade: C-

Copyright 1995 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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