Reviewed by: Reed Benson
Starring: Robin Williams, Edward Norton, Catherine Keener, Danny DeVito, Jon Stewart | Directed by: Danny DeVito | Produced by: Andrew Lazar, Peter Macgregor-Scott | Written by: Adam Resnick | Distributor: Warner Brothers
“Death to Smoochy” deals with kiddy show host Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams) who gets busted by the FBI over a bribery scandal. Kidnet, the company that produced the Rainbow Randolph show and the channel that played it, needs a new show to fill Randolph’s spot. Nora (Catherine Keener), a top Kidnet executive, finds Sheldon (Edward Norton), aka “Smoochy the Rhino,” on her last ditch effort for a replacement. Smoochy takes Randolph’s spot and his show skyrockets to number one. This drives Rainbow Randolph insane, and he makes many attempts to publicly defame Smoochy. Other characters that show up are the corrupt Parade of Hope leader (Harvey Fierstein), his main assistant (Danny DeVito), and Spinnart, a former boxing champion who’s not so bright but still lovable.
My motto is, “If you wouldn’t watch it with Jesus, why watch it?” Well, I know we’re only human, but I certainly wouldn’t want to watch this with Jesus. I do believe that this movie could have obtained a PG-13 rating, had it not been for the very heavy use of profanity. Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Also, there is a lot of sexual humor and violence. One rather short scene features sexual intercourse, but taking place behind a screen, with several cutaways, only showing shadowy figures.
The bottom line? Best to avoid “Death to Smoochy”. It certainly won’t help those who wish to grow in their walk with Christ. While Williams and DeVito do their best to make this sound like a promising flick, it’s still a far cry from “Matilda” or “Hook”.