The University feels like a stainless steel countertop: it works and it’s fine, but it lacks a certain grace, pizazz, and charm. That is until I spy with my little eye a groundhog posted up on the Sue B. hill. He looks so cute, gazing towards Jackson Court, sniffing the air. They go by many names, and the one you use can say a lot about who you are as a person. Groundhog implies you’re direct and not too fun (me). If you’re looking for some fun in your life, you might reach for groundboi. And finally, if you want to be playfully degenerate, you might say lawn beaver. 

It’s a shame we don’t see more of the local beavers. They’re just like groundhogs, but with a bonus tail (score!) But they’re a force to be reckoned with, as showcased in the 2022 (mostly) silent slapstick comedy, “Hundreds of Beavers.” If you think just a single one of nature’s urban deformers is destructive, then you’ve obviously never seen literally hundreds of them working together to undermine a drunk Canadian (?) applejack salesman. 

I apologize; I’m getting ahead of myself. Imagine, if you will, the funny-fiending people of Rochester looking for their comedic fix on the night of April 1. They hear about a slapstick comedy playing at The Little Theater. They pull up. The line is out the door, but moving fast, and in no time at all they buy tickets and are seated next to even more funny folks, who are experts at small talk and witty banter. 

The lights dim and we are faced with a 1920s steamboat willie-esque black-and-white animation of hearty men of the wilderness indulging in only the finest applejack money can buy. Everyone is jolly, without a care in the world. And then, disaster strikes.

Our protagonist awakes in shoulder-deep snow. He is alone, without any worldly possessions. His applejack business is as good as gone. Hijinks ensue as he attempts to get it back from these busy-tailed creatures. He utters only the most guttural and weirdly expressive grunts, reminiscent of the cutscenes in “LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga.” 

Through numerous visual and slapstick gags, our beloved applejack salesman very slowly learned the rules of the natural wild, even using them to his advantage. At first, he wasn’t able to hunt the humble cottontail, but through many days of planning and training, even the mighty wolf was no match for him. 

The film depicted his increasing survival knowledge and skills in a video game fashion, paralleling “Breath of the Wild.” The visual and slapstick gags were borrowed heavily from “Looney Tunes”, “The Three Stooges”, and “Tom & Jerry.” Yet the comedic timing was nothing short of impeccable, allowing the cliche to catch the viewer off guard. At no point did I find the jokes to be too much or simply get bored with the film. I also found the atmosphere of laughing patrons to lend itself quite well to the comedy. Laughing is not only more fun but also easier when you’re surrounded by equally amused folk.

Overall, “Hundreds of Beavers” was by far the funniest film I’ve ever seen and I’d highly recommend it to anyone familiar with slapstick humor, or fans of visual gags. Despite borrowing heavily from older comedic works, every turn felt reinvented, keeping myself and the entire theater entertained. The film was deeply rewarding and went by in a flash. I’d rate it a 4.3/5, only since I feel as though I’d have had a less memorable experience watching by myself, without the audience laughing with me. 

“Hundreds of Beavers” is currently for rent on Amazon Prime, so grab your friends, grab a drink, and be prepared to laugh. 

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