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"MONKEYBONE"
(2001) (Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Moderate *Moderate Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Moderate Mild Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Minor Mild Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: After entering a bizarre subconscious world upon falling into a coma, a cartoonist tries to stop his simian cartoon creation that's escaped to the world of the living and now possesses his body.
PLOT:
Stu Miley (BRENDAN FRASER) is a modest cartoonist who's finally achieving success in both his professional and personal life. His ribald comic strip creation, Monkeybone, that features a wisecracking and salacious simian of the same name, is about to become a national TV show, and he's about to propose to his beautiful girlfriend, Julie McElroy (BRIDGET FONDA).

While his manager, Herb (DAVID FOLEY), wants to market the Monkeybone franchise as much as possible, Stu wants to keep things simple. Unfortunately, he doesn't get the chance when a freak accident leaves him in a coma, with his conscious self sinking down into a bizarre world called Downtown, where others exist in an odd, carnival-like way station halfway between the living and death.

While Julie stays by his side and tries to ward off the attempts of Stu's sister, Kimmy (MEGAN MULLALLY), from pulling the plug on him, Stu's subconscious self in Downtown meets the physical incarnation of Monkeybone (voiced by JOHN TURTURRO), an irritating and ever-present monkey who's a constant thorn in his side when not making lewd comments to Kitty (ROSE McGOWAN), a waitress dressed in a cat motif.

Stu also meets Hypnos (GIANCARLO ESPOSITO), the half man, half goat ruler of Downtown, who informs him that the only way out is to travel to the underworld and steal an "exit pass" from none other than Death (WHOOPI GOLDBERG). Stu tries just that, but then learns that Hypnos has enlisted Monkeybone to steal the pass, travel up top and possess Stu's body, and then induce nightmares in the living for the entertainment of those stuck in Downtown. From that point on, and after being placed in the organ donor body of a dead gymnast (CHRIS KATTAN), Stu does what he can to stop his creation from doing all of that.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The presence of an animated monkey and Brendan Fraser (of "George of the Jungle" fame) may entice many younger kids to this film, while some teens may find the concept somewhat intriguing to them.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For crude humor and some nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BRENDAN FRASER plays a mild-mannered cartoonist who finds himself stuck in a bizarre, subterranean world after slipping into a coma. He also plays the version of Stu that's possessed by Monkeybone and acts like a lewd and crude simian in a human's body.
  • BRIDGET FONDA plays his loyal girlfriend who stays by his side during the coma and then tries to cope with him once he comes out of it and is controlled by Monkeybone.
  • ROSE McGOWAN plays a voluptuous and somewhat sensuous waitress in Downtown who helps Stu and dresses in a cat motif.
  • GIANCARLO ESPOSITO plays the half man, half goat ruler of Downtown who uses Stu and his goals for his own self-gratifying purposes.
  • WHOOPI GOLDBERG plays Death who runs the underworld like a business and occasionally - and literally - blows her top when things don't go her way.
  • CHRIS KATTAN plays a corpse that's come back to life with a broken neck.
  • DAVID FOLEY plays Stu's materialistic manager/agent who wants to capitalize on the marketing opportunities that Monkeybone presents. In one scene, and under the influence of a nightmare gas, he runs out through a restaurant buck-naked.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated comedy. Various instances of sexually related humor are present, including several related to erections; the lack of any genitalia on the cartoon monkey; an attempted sexual encounter that's played for laughs that includes some songs with mild sexual lyrics and begins with the sight of monkeys mating on TV; some shots of scantily clad women or the camera specifically focusing on women's body parts (including cleavage); and some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue.

    A man's complete bare butt is briefly seen, while part of another man's is in his underwear (both in nonsexual scenes), and a human-sized bee-like creature has some natural, spiral markings on her otherwise bare breast. Profanity consists of various expletives (including 1 "s" word and a slang term for female genitals), while an assortment of colorful phrases are also present, as is some imitative material that certain kids might find enticing.

    All sorts of comic and/or surreal type violence is present, including various characters trying to hit or otherwise harm others, several instances of slapstick style material, a non-graphic car crash that results in a coma, and some macabre material involving an organ donor who's come back to life but continues to lose or throw away organs removed from an incision in his body.

    Some of those scenes, as well as the bizarre setting of Downtown and the weird and/or monstrous creatures within it may be unsettling, suspenseful or even scary to some viewers, particularly the very young (although most such material is played for comedy or just to be weird). Some crude humor stems from a gaseous discharge that's emitted from the rear end of a toy monkey.

    Beyond that, various characters drink, smoke and/or display varying degrees of bad attitudes. Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have drinks at a reception, including Julie who has wine.
  • People and odd characters appear to have drinks in a bar in Downtown, where the bartender offers Stu a "coma-tini" (like a martini).
  • People have drinks again in the bar.
  • Various characters watch a nightmare of Julie's that begins with her and Stu having champagne.
  • Hypnos has a drink and Monkeybone shakes a bottle of champagne to make it squirt out.
  • Julie gives Stu (who's now "possessed" by Monkeybone) some champagne and he guzzles it down. Moments later, he drinks more of it straight from the bottle.
  • People have drinks at a reception.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • After being in a car accident, we see a tiny bit of what looks like blood on Julie's face along with some blood that's soaked through a bandage on Stu's head.
  • We see a needle go into a neck (but beyond the brief penetration it isn't particularly gory/graphic).
  • When Stu wakes up from a dream he had (where Hypnos hit him on the head with a golf club) he has a little bit of a bloody nose.
  • Some toy manufacturers show Stu a prototype Monkeybone toy that has it thumb stuck in a hole in its rear end. When the thumb is removed, a slight farting sound is made and a visible gas comes out of the hole (meant to represent a fart). We then see some farting related material in a Monkeybone cartoon.
  • Later, Stu puts the nightmare potion into the holes of many such toys and sprays one such toy onto his dog, knocking it out (and giving it nightmares).
  • We see a surgeon's hand inside a large incision in a donor body's abdomen as an organ is removed. When that corpse comes to life, we see that it has a broken neck (noted by the discoloration at that spot and the fact that the head is hanging to the side). As the body adjusts the neck, we hear various bone breaking/cracking sounds. Later, various people react to the smell of him (apparently that of a dead body with an incision down his front) when he gets on a bus.
  • Even later, and while hanging from a rope, various organs fall from his body. One lands on a grill and an adult unknowingly scoops it off and puts it on a kid's hamburger bun (but some surgeons immediately grab it). Another lands in a boy's hand as he's playing football. Stu then pulls one from the corpse's body and throws it, hitting Monkeybone in the face, and one organ lands on the ground and a lawnmower runs over it.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The cartoon creation come to life, Monkeybone, is a constant irritant to Stu (whether in the form of the monkey or later when controlling his body) and acts childish and/or makes lewd comments.
  • Kimmy seems overly anxious to pull the plug on her brother while he's in a coma and on life support.
  • Hypnos uses Stu as a means to his own ends by stealing Stu's exit pass that he, in turn, previously stole from Death.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" could also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers, particularly younger ones.
  • Stu's initial roller coaster like ride down into Downtown and then his encounters with various odd and fantastical creatures might be a bit unsettling or scary to some younger kids (as might the brief sight of old film footage of movie characters screaming on TV).
  • Various characters appear frightened and run away in Downtown when an agent of death shows up.
  • Julie has a bizarre nightmare where a character prepares to cut Stu's life support with a huge pair of scissors. Once that occurs, Stu sort of melts/deflates (and that might be unsettling or scary to some younger viewers).
  • We see some bizarre imagery of an odd looking surgeon-like creature preparing to saw into Stu who's taken on the odd shape of something resembling a human carrot.
  • The sight of a corpse that's suddenly come to life (with a large incision in its abdomen and a broken neck) might be unsettling to some viewers, especially younger ones (although most of what follows is all played for laughs).
  • Herb has a weird, hallucinogenic type reaction to a gas that causes him to see his tie coming to life on the floor and various toilets in a bathroom coming at him.
  • It's possible some viewers could find a scene where two men hang from ropes dangling from a large, parade-like float as tense.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Stu shows a drawing he's made of him holding a gun that's in Monkeybone's mouth.
  • Scythe: Used by one of Death's employees in an attempt to strike both Stu and Monkeybone.
  • Shotgun: Carried by a cat in a bizarre dream that a dog has.
  • Handgun: Used by a cop to shoot and deflate a parade-like float figure.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Holy sh*t," "What a loser," "Jeez," "Geezer," "Decrepit old fart," "Screw up," "Get your fat ass out of my face," "Shut up," "Bitching," "You two-bit simian stooge," "Booty" (rear end), "Babes" and "Chicks" (women), what sounded like "Bitch," "Your monkey ass is mine," "Sucker," "Horny" (sexual), "(You) Bastard," "What the hell," "Idiot," "What the hell is this stuff?" "Damn you, dead man," "Shut up" and "Smart ass."
  • In an animated Monkeybone cartoon, we see several cartoon boys pounding nails into the narrator boy's head.
  • Stu (now "possessed" by Monkeybone) digs his hand into a cake, takes a handful and starts eating it from his hand.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful music (some of it comically based) plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Songs with the lyrics, "Let's get it on," and "You're a sweet little love maker" play while Stu and Julie fool around, while a later song has the lyrics "Making love to you, is all I want to do" as Stu (with Monkeybone inside him) deals with an amorous orangutan. Another song has the lyrics, "She's mighty mighty, just letting it all hang out. She's a brick house. That lady's stacked, that's a fact, ain't holding nothing back…"
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "s" word, what sounded like 1 slang term using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 6 hells, 4 asses, 3 damns, 1 crap, 1 S.O.B., 5 uses each of "Oh God" and "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "G-damn," "For God's sakes," "Jesus" and "My God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • In an animated Monkeybone cartoon, a boy protagonist informs us (via voice over narration) that the flapping folds of skin hanging from his old school teacher's arms caused him to feel "oddly aroused." He then looks down to his clothed crotch and quickly puts books there to cover his apparent erection. We then briefly see what looks like an erection in his pants (and the teacher asks what's in his lap and he says that covering the growth in his pants was like putting a cap on the Washington Monument), but it turns out to be Monkeybone who pops out of his pants, blasting the books into the air.
  • Stu encounter some odd creature that says something about giving him a shoe shine and then it appears to be humping his foot/shoe like a dog while doing so (but it's so briefly seen that it's hard to tell exactly what's occurring).
  • Kitty shows a great deal of cleavage in her cat-like, barmaid outfit in various scenes.
  • Monkeybone mentions something that his next impersonation (of a Marilyn Monroe type character) is going to "spike" something and then makes his monkey tail go straight out like an erection. When he does that Monroe like character, he puts round objects into the dress he's wearing, thus creating fake, cartoon cleavage.
  • Monkeybone goes on about "the lady's got a loose caboose" while doing some pelvic thrusting. He then tells Kitty that he'd love a "stiff one" (a double entendre for a drink and erection) but that Stu forgot "to endow me."
  • The camera focuses on Kitty's abundant cleavage just before Monkeybone dives headfirst into it. We then see him briefly move around inside and beneath her outfit before popping out and stating that he left his number on her underwear. Stu then tells Kitty that he'll be right back "after I choke my monkey" (double entendre for actual choking and masturbation although only the former is intended).
  • A human-sized bee-like creature has a spiral of paint covering what otherwise appears to be a bare, but not completely realistic looking breast.
  • After Monkeybone has returned to the world of the living inside Stu's human body, he looks down at his crotch in a hospital bed, and then smiles and clasps his hands together in joy (apparently seeing that he now has genitals).
  • We see a somewhat detailed silhouette of Julie taking a shower (through the shower curtain) and then cut away to Stu (now "possessed" by Monkeybone) who says "Oh, baby" while amorously staring ahead. We then see, however, that he's not watching her, but rather a nature show on TV that's showing monkeys mating. Moments later, Julie bends over in her robe (and the camera focuses on her rear end) and Stu comes up behind her and grabs her (obviously inspired by the monkey footage). She then playfully asks if he thinks this is medically advisable. One of them then says as long as it's okay with Monkeybone and Julie then looks down at his clothed crotch and says, "Which it seems to be." She then opens her robe (away from the camera) and wraps it around Stu (who's still dressed) and he, of course, reacts to having her nude body pressed up against him. This occurs as the song "Let's get it on" plays on the soundtrack, and then switches to a Hendrix song (that includes lines about being a sweet little lover maker) as Stu swings around the bedposts and then hangs from them above Julie. He then lets go to land on her, but she moves out of the way and after a few slapstick moments, his face lands in her covered crotch (but in a knocked silly, rather than sexual way).
  • As we see Stu sleeping with a copy of Victoria's Secret on his chest, we see his dream where various women in bikinis and panties (who show cleavage) run along a golf course. Hypnos then shows up and tells him that they didn't send him up top to "shake your booty with a bunch of lingerie babes."
  • As Stu (with Monkeybone inside him) tries to figure out whether to respond to the amorous flirting and kisses blown his way by a caged orangutan, he says that he shouldn't since that would put him in a lot of hot water. As a song with the lyrics, "Making love to you, is all I want to do" plays, Stu goes to kiss the ape, but only so that he can grab the nightmare formula from it. As he walks away, the orangutan then grabs him by the leg and pulls his pants off, and we then see Stu in his underwear.
  • Later, we see part of the side of Stu's bare butt in that underwear as he's in bed with Julie (although nothing sexual is occurring).
  • Stu tells Kitty that the woman he's in love with (Julie) is living with a horny monkey that looks like him (Monkeybone), causing Kitty to reply, "Lucky woman."
  • After Hypnos gets mad about only getting dog nightmares back from Stu, Kitty cuddles up to him and somewhat sensuously tells him to forget about dogs but instead think about "pussy...cats."
  • We see Herb's bare butt as he runs out through a reception. Later, we see a cartoon version of this and see his cartoon bare butt.
  • As he performs the song "Brick House," Stu (still "possessed" by Monkeybone) dances on stage with some buxom women wearing short and tight fitting dresses. During this, he slides himself under and between one of the women's legs, pausing long enough to look up her dress.
  • Stu, in the body of a corpse, asks Monkeybone (who's in Stu's real body), "Did you sleep with my girl?" Monkeybone responds, "Sleep with her? We did the whole Kama Sutra twice."
  • SMOKING
  • Kimmy has a cigarette in one scene, while a bizarre creature in Downtown holds a cigar and mentions something about it being a Cuban. Moments later, another odd creature asks Stu if he has a smoke on him (he doesn't), and a miscellaneous character smokes in a bar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Kimmy briefly mentions that her father died a long death and that she and Stu don't want that to happen to them (which is why she wants to pull the life support plug on him).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • That Monkeybone is presumably intended to represent Stu's repressed/suppressed id.
  • Comas and what happens to people during them.
  • VIOLENCE
  • In an animated Monkeybone cartoon, we see several cartoon boys pounding nails into the narrator boy's head.
  • Stu's car goes out of control in reverse when an inflatable toy jams him and Julie up against the windshield. During, this, one of the toy's large inflatable arms hits Herb, the car smashes through a security gate and then eventually crashes (the final impact isn't seen) and Stu is knocked into a coma.
  • Stu throws a martini glass at Monkeybone while irritated at him.
  • Stu pounds on some sort of crystal ball type orb (trying to get Julie's attention) and breaks some of it.
  • Stu grabs Monkeybone and throws him across a room.
  • Death's head explodes (out of anger), knocking Stu and Monkeybone out through a window. (Death is then given a new head).
  • One of Death's employees tries to strike both Stu and Monkeybone with a scythe.
  • Monkeybone hits Stu over the head with a large wrench, knocking him unconscious.
  • Stu's dog bites his hand (since he knows that it's really Monkeybone inside his body).
  • Being playfully amorous, Stu jumps down from a bed's posts and accidentally strikes his head. He then stumbles off the bed where Julie accidentally kicks him in the head, knocking him even more silly.
  • Hypnos strikes Stu's head like a golf ball with a golf club (we don't see the impact) during a dream. In reality, and as a result, Stu suddenly falls from bed and has a bit of a bloody nose.
  • We hear the sound of Kitty attacking a rat guard, and then briefly see that guard's quivering body, just before the camera pans away and we hear more attacking sounds.
  • Death's right-hand man briefly stretches out Stu on a variation of the rack.
  • Death kicks Stu in the rear end to send him on his way to the upper world.
  • A corpse that's come to life wields a bone saw that nearly hits several surgeons. As they then chase that corpse, a person on a gurney is knocked to the floor.
  • A blindfolded woman accidentally hits Stu in the gut with a bat while trying to strike a piñata of sorts.
  • Stu (still controlled by Monkeybone inside him) tries to hit a corpse (controlled by the real Stu) with a baseball bat.
  • While hanging from ropes attached to a large inflatable float figure, Stu (inside a corpse) smacks into the front of a bus. As he tries to get at Monkeybone (who's still inside Stu's real body), various organs fall from his body (as he was an organ donor corpse). One lands in a boy's hands while playing football and various surgeons then tackle and pile onto him. Stu then pulls one from the corpse's body and throws it, hitting Monkeybone in the face.
  • A cop then shoots the float figure, eventually causing both men to fall and then crash into the ground (the impact is hidden by the canvas surrounding them).
  • Stu hits Monkeybone.
  • Death smashes Monkeybone into Stu via some large, mechanical hands that clap them together (Stu isn't harmed and Monkeybone simply disappears as a result).



  • Reviewed February 14, 2001 / Posted February 23, 2001

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