“Hoot” is a piece of work. It is everything that is wrong with family films. Every time that Disney releases a new film, families flock to the theater for an experience that will be entertaining and meaningful to all. While the most important thing is for Disney to make families happy, they also make the critics happy. If you look at their 2016 releases, Rotten Tomatoes rates them at 98% (Moana), 86% (Pete’s Dragon), 75% (The BFG), 94% (Finding Dory), 30% (Alice Through the Looking Glass), 94% (The Jungle Book), and 98% (Zootopia). There is no excuse for a production company to release a film like “Hoot” that earned a whopping 26% when Disney can put out a consistent stream of quality, family-friendly films. While this is a review for “Hoot,” I think it is important that we acknowledge that we all take Disney films for granted.
Now back to the movie at hand. What makes it so bad? Here is a short list: Poor acting, a bad script, an unnecessary Jimmy Buffet character, 17-year-old Brie Larson playing a middle school student, a soundtrack of Jimmy Buffet singing a compilation of his own and other peoples’ music, a tired “Save the Earth” story, and an unnecessary closing credits song by Jimmy Buffet called “Good Guys Win (Every Once In A While).” It contains nearly every stereotype of a poorly made family film, complete with a big bully that gets beat up by a little protagonist, a clumsy cop (played by none other than… Luke Wilson?) and a Tiananmen Square-style showdown with a bulldozer. I’m sure that kids were entertained by this movie but there is literally nothing in it for adults, which I consider to be a failure on the part of the writers. Disney has shown us that kids movies can appeal to the entire film (and movie critics!) but “Hoot” completely fails to cater to anyone other than preteens.
[Pictured: Bulldozers make great hiding places - important lessons learned from "Hoot"]