I saw The Big Year for lunch. It’s about Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson as the go “birding” for who can spot the most bird in North America over the course of one year, ergo the big year. Yeah… that’s it, but wait, there’s more.
The good; Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are great in this movie. Each character is well defined and their motivations are clear to us.
Steve Martin plays a corporate business owner who’s always wanted to pursue the big year but was always too busy with work, so he’s retiring a second time to actually do the big year.
Jack Black is some nuclear technician/IT guy who’s barely getting by, but his passion lies with birds and decides to spend all his money on winning the big year.
Owen Wilson is the reigning champ who holds the record and wants to remain the record holder.
Those character breakdowns should’ve probably went in the summary, but it’s important here, cause the characters are well defined. With these comedic actors you’d expect a wall to wall laugh fest, but I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t. What we got was more of a race, and not a cookie-cutter good guy – bad guy slapstick comedy.
This is one of those rare movies that actually had a little bit of everything in it and didn’t feel like it had a little bit of everything in it. The Big Year works.
*Semi-SPOILER; there’s no real bad guy, it’s just three guys pursuing a common goal. I really enjoyed that.
In fact, they were probably the antagonists of the movie as well as the protagonists.
The bad; no marketing for this movie. I didn’t see one tv spot or ad for it. Was there no faith in this movie? So I guess that bad this is our own expectations.
In short, a surprisingly enjoyable movie, one that no one will see, but should.