The Big Year Review

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Three middle-aged bird watchers experiencing a midlife crisis compete to spot the most species of birds with amusing consequence.


Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin compete to complete a “Big Year” in this mid-life-crisis comedy. But this is no ordinary bucket list – it’s about counting birds. The birdwatcher who sees more species than anyone else in North America wins the title. Slacker Black, errant husband Wilson and company head honcho Martin are all in it to win it. As they race around chasing bird-enticing freak storms with binoculars, it’s a reasonable insight into male obsession – especially when that obsession comes before family, work and cold hard cash. But while Black and Martin’s characters are likable enough, Wilson’s is so irredeemably awful to his wife (Rosamund Pike) it’s hard to get past this – and the fact that this is more mildly amusing than out-and-out funny.

City Slickers only without the laughs and charm.