HT Schuyler: The Beaver Review

Posted: September 12, 2011 by htschuyler in HT Schuyler's Movie Reviews

Rated PG for language, some disturbing moments, mild violence and sexuality.

Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence and Riley Thomas Stewart.

Directed by: Jodie Foster.

When I fist saw a trailer for The Beaver, I don’t know why, I thought it looked pretty good. It look different, which is always appreciated, plus it had an interesting cast and director. After missing it in the theatre (probably due to the fact it had a fairly limited release), I was eager to see it on DVD. So, is The Beaver a 91 minute trip of weird absurdness, or is it one of the most underrated movies of the year?

Walter Black (Mel Gibson) is at a very low point in his life. His wife (Jodie Foster) kicks him out, his oldest son (Anton Yelchin) hates him, and he has no motivation to keep living. One night (while buying booze) he finds an abandoned beaver puppet lying in a dumpster. He takes it home with him, and later that night tries to commit suicide. After two failed attempts and being crushed by his TV, he wakes up to find the beaver puppet (which he had on his hand when he passed out) talking to him, and telling him to sort his life out. So, with the help of the beaver, Walter reinvents himself at work and tries to reconnect with his family, all the while addressing them with a beaver on his arm.

It’s a very bizarre setup, but the focus of the movie is the drama between the characters, and how each family member deals with their life and how Walter changes it. There is a side plot where Anton Yelchin’s character Porter has to write a graduation speech for a girl that he likes (Jennifer Lawrence), and has to find out information about her so he can write a speech to reflect not only her’s but his feeling about life and growing up. Judging Mel Gibson’s performance on who he is as an actor, not a person, I have to say he was pretty good. He was very believable, and (as bizarre as it sounds) worked very well with the beaver puppet. Jodie Foster was great, as always, and does a really nice job acting and directing, as everything is professional and neither aspect was lacking. Anton Yelchin was fantastic. He is one of my favourite rising stars, and he really gets to prove what he can do, displaying convincing emotions, and acting very genuine to his situations. Jennifer Lawrence was also good, though I felt the development of her character fell flat towards the third act.

The Good:

The film moves at a steady pace, and I never found myself bored or waiting for something to happen. The chemistry between all the characters works great, as everyone is believable. Mel Gibson works really well with the hand puppet, and their are scenes where it feels like the beaver itself is a character. The beaver will be charming at one moment, then scary at others. There are some intense scenes with Mel and the beaver, but they play out really well. Also, the film takes a very dark turn towards the end, and leaves the film on a depressing but bold note.

The Bad:

This film takes itself very seriously, which unfortunately can work against it. We are suppose to take Mel Gibson seriously with the beaver on his hand, but sometimes you can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it. Despite this film’s ending being bold, everything else in the film is pretty simple, and it doesn’t really have a lasting impression on you.

In Conclusion:

I really liked this movie, it was very unique, and dealt with issues that most people can relate to. It is very underrated, which is unfortunate, as I would actually recommend this film. It has great acting, a good story and a good message. Recommended.



  1. pgcooper1939 says:

    I might see this tonight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s