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I am going to blab on and on, as I always do, but the only review you really need to hear about this terrible movie comes from my 3-year-old son, Luke:

“Daddy, can we leave?” he said in the middle of the endless movie. When I shook my head, he added the death blow: “I never, ever want to see this show again.”

This from the kid who can watch the same episode of Special Agent Oso four times in a row.

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If not for the reinforcement by my offspring, I might have cut Tangled more slack out of concern that maybe the problem was more mine than the movie’s. The trailers made the movie out to be an irreverent, Shrek-like deconstruction of a famous fable, oozing with snark and in-jokes. The actual product packs about as much subversive punch as a Hallmark card.

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Maybe the problem rests with the Grimm brothers story itself. There are only so many ways you can go in a tale about a girl with long hair stuck in a tower, and this Disney take seems like a bitter Pictionary player who’s stuck with a clue that’s too hard to describe so he ends up drawing a character that looks like a hybrid between a turtle and a question mark, then stares ashamedly at the ground until the timer runs out.

Mandy Moore voices Princess Rapunzel, who was kidnapped as a baby by a cruel old woman who uses the girl’s magical hair to replenish her youth. The king and queen miss Rapunzel so much that they set off an annual display of floating lamps to commemorate her birthday, but don’t yearn for her return so much that they have a search committee check all the towers in the region in which locked-away girls stare out the windows with longing abandon.

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Zachary Levi voices Flynn Rider, the con artist adventurer who happens upon Rapunzel’s tower as a hideout, then through a twist of contrivance ends up agreeing to take her to see the floating lamps on her birthday if she’ll hand over a stolen artifact that she stole from him after knocking him out with a frying pan.

Yes, the movie proves that it is possible to get a brain freeze without eating ice cream.

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No matter how silly and overly complicated the story, the movie would have been fine had it managed to generate any sense of rhythm – comedic, dramatic or otherwise. The film lacks any soul or purpose, much like a Jersey Shore castmember. But unlike a Jersey Shore castmember, it’s incapable of punching people in the face at random for your entertainment.

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When I got home from the movie and put my son to bed, I just had to tell someone about the horrors I’d experienced. So I dialed up my dad, and told him “I never, ever want to watch this show again.”

Starring the voices of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi. Written by Dan Fogelman, based on the fairy tale by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm. Directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. 100 minutes. Rated PG.

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