Grizzly Falls

on January 28, 2000 by Mike Kerrigan
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This is a trip down memory lane to those Disney and similar films where all the kids were the heroes and all the animals cute--when they weren't being ferocious. It takes a serious suspension of reality to enjoy them. But, hey, isn't that what movies are all about?
   Young Harry Bankston (newcomer Daniel Clark) goes on an expedition to the Canadian wilderness with his Indiana Jones-style dad (Bryan Brown). It's a bonding experience to make up for father being absent for much of his young life, including when his mother died.
   The purpose of the trek is to bring back a live grizzly and, naturally, it doesn't all go according to plan. In fact it goes so awry that Harry gets kidnapped by a mother grizzly whose two cubs have been captured by the expedition. Only fair, you might say.
   Ma Grizzly is actually good at her chosen profession and Harry's only problem seems to be that his diet is a little undercooked. Apart from berries it consists of raw fish, freshly-killed animals and purloined eggs. Quit complaining, kid--sushi and steak tartar would cost you a packet in Beverly Hills.
   The scenes with the bears are very convincing and whatever special effects there may be are seamless, though the film could have done with a few less of the human-style gestures. Do grizzlies really do that crooked arm wave thing when they want you to hurry up? And some of the continuity is very sloppy. After several days of being schlepped by a bear, Harry's shirt looks like it just came out of the dryer.
   Still, it's a pretty entertaining trip for the whole family, except for very little kids who might find some of the scenes too intense. Performances are adequate, with young Mr. Clark a standout. Richard Harris, as the much older Harry, bookends the story and shamelessly sets up a potential sequel. Starring Daniel Clark, Bryan Brown, Richard Harris, Tom Jackson and Oliver Tobias. Directed by Stewart Raffill. Written by Richard Beattie. Produced by Peter S. Hampton and Allan Scott. A Providence Entertainment release. Adventure. Rated PG for wilderness adventure violence and some mild language. Running time: 93 min.
Tags: Daniel Clark, Bryan Brown, Richard Harris, Tom Jackson, Oliver Tobias. Directed by Stewart Raffill. Written by Richard Beattie. Produced by Peter S. Hampton and Allan Scott. A Providence Entertainment, adventure, bear, grizzly
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