There's nothing particularly original about this animated comedy adventure by Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors). It has the standard fast-paced snarky tone and too-frantic imagery, but the script is smarter than average, dropping deranged lines of hilarious dialogue into every scene. This gives the conversations an improvisational quality that keeps the audience laughing all the way through, unsure what might happen next.
It's set 20 years after the storks decided that there wasn't enough money in delivering babies, so they shifted to delivering parcels instead. The boss Hunter (voiced by Kelsey Grammer) is now planning to become board chairman, so he brings in his protege Junior (Andy Samberg) as the new boss. To prove himself, Junior needs to sack Tulip (Katie Crown), an annoying human who was left behind when the old business closed. Unable to do this, Junior transfers her to a back mailroom where no one will notice her, except that she inadvertently fires up the baby factory by answering a request from Nate (Anton Starkman) to bring a brother to his parents (Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell). So now Junior and Tulip need to deliver this infant before Hunter finds out.
While the plot is fairly predictable, the way it plays out is riotous. The film is a barrage of random asides, unexpected twists and loveably ridiculous characters. A smarmy corporate spy called Pigeon Toady (Stephen Kramer Glickman) is amusingly smarmy, while a pair of bickering arctic wolves (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele) add some snarling suspense, even though they're too funny to be scary. Everything is so energetic and colourful that it's difficult to mind that the plot makes very little logical sense. And the loose style of vocal performance gives the whole film a zing of comical anarchy.
Continue reading: Storks Review
Ratatouille is an intricate dish, infused with energetic and amusing storylines that are all fully cooked and complementary to the film's rich visual look. It's easily the best Pixar creation next to The Incredibles; arguably it's even better. No surprise that Ratatouille is written and directed by Brad Bird, the same mastermind behind The Incredibles. Bird excels at integrating thematic elements that will entertain the youngest and oldest members of the audience alike.
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In fact, if it wasn't for all the formula-driven bad guys, perilous situations, and narrow escapes, Antz would be exactly like any other Allen film. But this is animation, and that means kid-pleasing effects must plaster the screen. Sadly, this hurts the story to the point where Antz will quickly get lost in the shuffle of animated films coming out over the next year, despite its unique touches. To make matters worse, some of the more gruesome scenes, including an ant-termite battle that would leave Private Ryan wetting himself, are decidedly not for children.
Continue reading: Antz Review
There's nothing particularly original about this animated comedy adventure by Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors). It has...
A fine red wine only gets better with age. Long before that cork is popped...