Penguins are “in” right now. They March and they dance with those adorably Happy Feet. So, I guess it was only a matter of time before someone decided there was money to be made by turning in a penguin farce. Unfortunately for us, that someone turned out to be Bob Saget. I admit to knowing very little about Saget outside of his family sitcom and home movies shows. This is a side of him I wish I’d never seen. This film is absolutely unfit for the kiddies. Now let me first say that I’m certainly not one of those folks that gets easily offended. I’ve been a South Park fan since the beginning and would never consider myself sensitive to crude humor. With that said, I must honestly say that Farce of the Penguins is the most disgusting piece of crap I’ve seen in some time. It would be tolerable if it were even a little bit funny. The only chuckles you’ll get out of this is a handful of throw away lines. The rest is simply not at all humorous. Even Samuel L. Jackson can’t save this mess with his narration. The story is simple: Carl (Saget) is a penguin who’s looking for penguin love. Jimmy (Black), his best buddy, tries to convince him that the girl of his dreams is waiting for him at the end of their 70 mile trek to mate. The entire 80 minutes is spent with poor voice over during March of the Penguins style nature footage. Nothing really matches, and perhaps that’s not really the point. The film drags along at an incredibly slow and awkward pace toward the breeding grounds where Carl meets Melissa (Applegate). The two hook up and a few rather raunchy complications allow this farce to continue even longer. By the time the end credits roll, pretty much every unfunny clichÃ© has been set to penguin footage, and you’ve lost nearly an hour and a half of your life.
Farce of the Penguins is presented in a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio. The quality of the footage varies considerably. There is plenty of penguin stock footage, and it runs the scale from near high definition reproduction to grainy and barely watchable. The characters don’t even appear to be played by the same penguins throughout the film. Think of it like a documentary from one of those old 70’s nature shows, and you have a good idea what to expect. The photography seldom comes anywhere near the beautifully produced images from March of the Penguins. Again, I understand that’s not the point, but the filmmakers could have attempted a little more consistency.
There is for practical purposes virtually no difference between the Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 tracks. Sure, the music is spread out a bit more richly in the surround mix, but the focus of the film is the incredibly lame voice-over work which is reproduced clearly enough. The wasteland sound effects are hokey anyway, so it’s no loss that these wind and snow sounds aren’t mixed well at all.
There is an audio commentary with Bob Saget which is not at all worth yet another viewing of the film. He thinks he’s funny treating the piece as if it were a serious effort. There’s a lot of “that penguin was a pain to work with” type parody that almost always falls flat.
- “Deleted Scenes” There are about 15 minutes of more deleted scenes we did not get to see from the first DVD releases. Mostly some of the jokes were removed, which was fine with me. This is a far better venue to see them anyhow.
- “To The Earth’s Ice Hole and Back” This stuff is nearly unwatchable. Just like in his commentary, Saget sets up as if he’s being interviewed on set of the film and makes unnecessarily crude jokes about the film. The sexual jokes are just classless and nowhere near funny enough to be worth subjecting yourself to this 15 minute feature.
- “Bonus Footage” If you didn’t think the film itself was raunchy enough, here’s 5 more scenes.
- “Behind The Scenes Montage” Somehow they figure you might find this crap more entertaining if you can see the voice talents (and I use the term talent loosely) performing them in a recording studio.
Finally there are some trailers. Bonus footage and trailers to a crappy direct to DVD release? At least the menus are clever and entertaining.
Farce of the Penguins is a film better left to the barren ice fields of Antarctica. It will certainly bring no humor or entertainment to your living room or home theatre. When I put the disc in for a second time to review the bonus materials my DVD display read “Are you F’in kidding me? I thought you were smarter than that.” The only redeeming aspect of watching this film was getting to tell you how bad it was. Hey. I’m a reviewer. “That’s what we do.”