Friendship can get a little hairy
A HUGE ADVENTURE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!
It's pretty clear from the cover art of Bigfoot who the intended audience for this PG-rated romp is. It's got smiling teenagers, a woodsy background, and someone wearing a gentle-looking Bigfoot costume listening to an IPod. Yes, this direct-to-video movie is targeted toward the youngsters; it even has the Dove Foundation's Family Approved seal in the lower left. Bigfoot isn't the first time the Dove Foundation has supported a Sasquatch-themed film for the youngsters, as 2008's The Legend of Sasquatch will attest.
Bigfoot, unlike its animated predecessor, is live-action and follows the exploits of a trio of 15-year-olds. The main character is Percy (Adam Raque), a gangly, awkward teen in love with Madison (Nicole Badaan). How Percy got to be so geeky (only in a Hollywood sense) seems like a bit of a mystery considering his parents are played by actor Richard Tyson and supermodel Angie Everhart, but why dwell on that? Madison goes ga-ga over Percy - much to the chagrin of his best friend Leonard (Kenyon Dudley) - after he steps up to two rednecks harassing her. In their ensuing confrontation, the two "fellas" chase the bike-riding Percy through the woods in their truck. In the speed and confusion, Percy runs off the road, hits his head, and gets knocked out. Recovering, Percy awakens to find the titular Bigfoot staring over him.
That's the set-up for this light-hearted comedy. What follows is fairly predictable: Percy and Bigfoot become friends, they hang out as Percy introduces him to the wonders of hot dogs and guitar playing, and then Percy must convince his human friends of Bigfoot's existence in order to enlist their help in saving him from the two rednecks, who want to capture Bigfoot for monetary gain. In several respects, it resembles the Jon Lithgow comedy Harry and the Hendersons.
I could see Bigfoot entertaining pre-teen kids. There's plenty of physical comedy, and the plot is accessible enough. However, more liberal-minded parents may feel uncomfortable with the villains in this movie. The Dove Foundation may have given this a Family Approved seal, but the antagonists Cletis and Devlin (Brandon Gibson and Andrew Chase) certainly flirt with some ugly stereotypes of rural whites for a contemporary family film. They're uneducated (at one point described as "dropout lowlifes" by Madison), carry rifles, drive a pickup, and live in a rundown shack of a house with garbage littering the lawn.
If this "redneck" (as they're referred as several times in the movie) portrayal isn't enough to bother the PC-crowd, there's also the troubling economic class issue. Cletis and Devlin are clearly poor, while the hero teenagers are blatantly wealthy, living in an upscale housing development. Plus, Percy and his friends seem to have no concerns about trespassing onto Cletis and Devlin's property, stealing their truck, damaging their stuff, and plowing through their gate.
I say this only because I can picture some parents being offended by the implicit negative messages about race and class being offered here. I think movies packaged as "wholesome" entertainment are (and likely should be) inherently held to higher standards of taste than standard video fare. Personally, in an otherwise bland and straightforward kid movie, I thought the characters of Cletis and Devlin provided some much needed energy. They have some of the funniest lines, including an unexpectedly hilarious bit where Cletis talks about buying a lumberjack costume with the money they expect to fetch for capturing Bigfoot. But then, I'm looking at this movie from the eyes of an adult with no kids.
All in all, Bigfoot might be worth a look if you've got young kids wanting something new to watch. Otherwise, you can pass on this one.
Image Entertainment gives Bigfoot an anamorphic widescreen presentation with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The image is crisp and colors are strong.
The lone audio track is an English language Dolby Digital 2.0 affair. It's far from dynamic during action scenes, but it's certainly serviceable as dialogue is always clear and the score is nicely mixed in. Optional subtitles are available in English and Spanish.
A 19-minute Behind the Scenes featurette offers the typical fare for extras like this: the cast and crew offer positive soundbyte comments about the movie spliced together with behind-the-scenes footage and stills. A trailer for Bigfoot is also available.
Bigfoot is aimed at youngsters, and as such, it's worth a look if you have little kids. However, some parents might take offense at the portrayal of "rednecks" Cletis and Devlin, the villains of the movie. Anyone without kids, otherwise, won't find all that much of interest.