A computer-animation from Norway featuring a junkie elephant, a gang of rabid animal rights activists, hapless stoners, and the Lappish mafia on choppers, with the voices of Simon Pegg, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, and Kyle MacLachlan? Sure, I’ll go see that. Too bad that everything that’s even remotely funny or interesting about Free Jimmy was contained in the previous sentence.
For an irreverent, free-wheeling comedy that wants to shock and amuse by breaking taboos and letting ‘er rip, the only shocking thing about Free Jimmy is that it’s almost entirely devoid of jokes. The mirthless CGI characters are uniformly ugly, and the voice talent is woefully underused. Samantha Morton, as an exaggerated cliché of the annoying vegan, only gets to mope and whine.
In the best sequence of the film, the tragically addicted elephant faces heroin withdrawal with the help of a friendly moose, but a few minutes later, he’s shot dead for one last misguided, cynical attempt at humor. A truly miserable time at the movies.
Free Jimmy. Christopher Nielsen, 2006. *