Directed by Barry Levinson, starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Christopher Walken, Rachel Weisz and Amy Poehler.

Best friends Tim (Stiller) and Nick (Black) are co-workers and neighbours. The men and their wives Debbie (Weisz) and Natalie (Poehler) are inseparable and have almost identical lives. However, when Tim opts out of joining Nick's latest business venture, Vapoorizer - a spray that makes dog poop disappear - their lives change dramatically.

Fast-forward to eighteen months later where Nick is now rich beyond his wildest dreams whilst Tim continues with his old life but despite the differences the men maintain their friendship. As time passes an oddball drifter, J-Man (Walken), takes it upon himself to interfere in the situation. Tim's problems increase and with his envy growing he begins to lose control of his life and is unintentionally set to destroy Nick along the way.

Both the film's plot and script are very weak. From the outset we are assured that Tim and Nick are best friends and that they are inseparable, but their friendship is unconvincing. Tim speaks to Nick as if he's a child and they annoy each other constantly. There is never a good reason given as to why this friendship should be saved and without it the film often loses direction.

Luckily, the acting isn't as bad. Ben Stiller is excellent in the role of a nice guy gone mad and heading for meltdown, something that he has perfected of late. Although Jack Black has a tendency to overact and over-exaggerate everything, which is irritating unless you're a fan of his, he does provide some cringe-worthy laughs.

In retrospect, the character of J-Man (Walken) is pointless as he is not a crucial part of the plot. However, with Christopher Walken in the role, this is easily forgotten while watching the film. He is extremely funny whether delivering compliments in the form of insults or insults disguised as compliments. His dry wit provides an excellent contrast to the rest of the film's overt slapstick comedy.

'Envy' is a typical Ben Stiller comedy, one that doesn't make you think too hard and delivers the joke right to you.

Eilish Barry