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Rated R · 105 minutes
David O. Russell's 1999 Three Kings still seems slightly miraculous, a Hollywood action movie that mercilessly satirizes American greed and mendacity during the gulf war. Bringing it to the screen so taxed Russell he swore he'd never attempt anything like it again, and true to his word, I * Huckabees is smaller and more cerebral, a philosophical comedy about man's place in a universe colonized by Targets and Wal-Marts. A nerdy organizer (Jason Schwartzman of Rushmore) finds his wetlands-preservation project being co-opted by a glad-handing executive (Jude Law) of the Huckabees retail chain and hires two “existential detectives” (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin) to find meaning in his life. Among the other oddballs in this cosmic farce are a moody French philosopher (Isabelle Huppert), a firefighter (Mark Wahlberg) angrily obsessed with oil dictatorships, and a blond model (Naomi Watts) driven to distraction by her hollow life as “the face of Huckabees.”

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