May 5, 2004 at 12:00 am

What happens when you take a plot that literally revolves around crap, a great cast whose talents are squandered and the world’s worst sound track since the beginning of time? The answer: Barry Levinson’s latest flop, Envy.

The instant you sit down to watch this movie your ears will be assaulted by Mark Mothersbaugh’s wretched hillbilly contributions. The songs in Envy are so bad that at one point I actually leaned over to my friend and apologized for convincing her to see it with me.

Fortunately it takes more than a bad sound track to ruin a movie, and considering the fact that Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Christopher Walken, Rachel Weisz and Amy Poehler all have roles, I figured, “OK, don’t worry, it’s just one atrocious song. It has to get better.”

Tragically, after spending all the money on an incredible cast, Levinson must have realized he had exceeded his budget and thought, “These are great actors. I don’t need to shell out big bucks for a good script. Instead, I’ll just throw a dart out my window and the first guy it hits will write my movie for me!”

The guy’s name is Steve Adams, and the plot thrown together revolves around Jack Black’s character Nick Vanderpark inventing an aerosol spray called “vaPOOrize” which causes animal feces to vanish when applied. The first question I asked myself after watching Envy was, “I wonder if VaPOOrize would make this turd of the cinema disappear?”

After Nick Vanderpark makes it big with VaPOOrize, his neighbor/best friend Tim Dingman (Ben Stiller) is left feeling extremely jealous. As a result, Tim’s anger builds until an outburst at work gets him fired, leaving him free to meet Christopher Walken’s character, J-man, in a bar. Sadly, even the mighty Walken is unable to rescue this movie from the curse of Steve Adams. Shortly after Walken’s introduction, the movie shifts gears from dumb to idiotic.

I find it ironic that a movie about a guy who invents a poop spray is named Envy, because, after seeing it, I was left feeling envious of every single person who didn’t pay to see this piece of shit. Avoid this movie in theaters and on video, and if it’s on television do yourself a favor and change the channel fast.

Chad Nelson writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].