“Ed” is a thoroughly incompetent piece of work, but not any less watchable that the countless other dumb animal-centric family movies out there as far as I can tell. The effects are all a bit worse than you might expect (all of the chimp effects are embarrassing), but the jokes are exactly the sort that you should anticipate from a movie like this. Poop jokes and pants getting pulled down are pretty standard fare throughout, and cracks about back hair pop up constantly. Real deep stuff.
The writing beyond the jokes is horrible, with things happening with very little set up or explanation. For instance, the chimp knows how to play baseball because he was owned by Mickey Mantle apparently? Did Mickey Mantle train chimpanzees as a hobby? There is also a point towards the end of the movie where the team’s owner sells Ed to a circus on the eve of the championship game. Why throw a serious wrench into your team’s championship run, and give up the established staple of your marketing to boot? At least, why do it at that time? Wouldn’t his value go up even more if he had a pennant to his name? Was he a pending free agent aiming to test the waters of the open market? Also, the movie opens with Matt LeBlanc’s character at an open tryout for minor league baseball. He states that he never played baseball on any level, yet he clearly loves the sport and is very capable of playing. How? When did he gain these talents? Why is he trying out now after all of these years of zero interest in organizational play? Is there a catalyst for his actions? If his parents were about to lose the farm, that would actually put some stakes into this film. But no, the parents just disappear from the film after the opening segment. They don’t even show up to any games, shockingly.
The acting didn’t actually seem all that bad outside of the token child actor and the eponymous chimp. Let’s be honest, what on earth could any actor have done in a movie about a baseball-playing chimp?
I’m not sure how this director wound up with this job. There is bound to be a bizarre story behind it, because he has exclusively worked on documentaries outside of this movie. Honestly, this would have had more potential to be funny if it were played out as a sports mockumentary about the rise and fall of a third base playing chimp’s professional baseball career. Anyway, the director’s experience at least explains why the whole film just seems…off.
Last huge problem with this movie: the title. Give me a pun. Give me a dumb joke. Give me something relating to animals, chimps, baseball, sports, or anything actually relevant to the movie. Don’t just make the title the chimp’s common, human name. How is that going to trick anyone into watching this movie? Come on, put in a little effort here folks.
When I froze the Bottom 100, this was sitting low at #85, which I was somewhat surprised by. This movie has problems, but I’m not clear on how this is dramatically worse than the endless Air Bud knockoffs/sequels or Cop Dog. Sure, this is the bottom tier of the animal-centric family movies, but you can’t exactly have high aspirations for any of them. That all said, this movie is definitely miserably bad (and one of the worst movies I have sat through so far), but it is plenty possible to sit through if you absolutely must. I just have a particular dislike for family movies, so I am admittedly a bit biased against this thing straight out of the gate.
By the way, it is on Netflix if that sounds like your kind of thing.