About an hour into Land of the Lost, Will Ferrell and Danny McBride have a somewhat lengthy argument about whether one Sleestack creature will "tap the ass" of another. It was at this point that a mother in the audience uttered a loud, indignant sigh and ushered her three children out of the theater.
Oddly enough, I'm almost on her side here. Oh, don't get me wrong, I personally laughed at that joke and most of the other raunchy material here. But the average mother looking for a silly dinosaur movie to entertain the kiddies on a summer afternoon probably doesn't expect it (I wouldn't want to explain to a six-year old what "tapping that ass" meant). So I guess what I'm getting at is that the film might have found an audience had it veered to one extreme or the other. A raunchy R-rated take on the material which played up the "druggie" element already inherent in the campy old Kroft projects might have attracted a nice little cult following. A family-friendly (Elf-like) take on the material might have pleased the moms and the kiddies. But instead, the film, with its PG-13, tries to have it both ways, no doubt because it's the PG-13's that normally rake in the big bucks. And the result of this won't please very many (and perhaps people sense it, as it's a major box-office failure). While the raunchy R-rated Hangover and the kid-friendly UP are filling the multiplexes, Ferrell and McBride are discussing ass-tapping in empty auditoriums.
I'm ready for the return of Kenny Powers. Come on, McBride!