The Penguin King 3D

"OK"

The Penguin King 3D Review


Sharp digital photography makes this Antarctic documentary worth a look for nature-movie fans, even though it's both childish and unoriginal. The problem is that we have seen so many movies about penguins - from March of the Penguins to Happy Feet - that nothing here feels very new. Although at least the setting is unusual. And this one's shot in eye-popping 3D.

On the island of South Georgia, between Antarctica and South America, a massive colony of king penguins shares the landscape with a variety of seals and birds, but no humans (except for documentary film crews, of course). The star of the movie is a 4-year-old male who has just completed his epic three-year swim-about and is now back to find a mate and settle down. Sure enough, he pairs up with a female and then together the couple cares for its offspring as an egg and then a chick. They also take turns heading out to sea for food. And all the while, both of them are fighting off ruthless predators who want to make a meal of them.

Attenborough's narration is clearly aimed at very young children, as it creates an emotive story out of the natural images, which have been edited together to crank up the suspense. He turns the natural order of things into a full-on action movie, with evil killer whales and murderous birds villainously stalking the adorable young chicks. Never mind that this is how the world works: we are pushed to feel that it's unfair and tragic. And our emotions are further manipulated by a surging, cheesy score.

There are moments of romance and levity along the way, such as a visit to a nearby macaroni penguin colony, and the strained efforts to add human feelings is annoyingly contrived. Also, instead of finding a lesser-known species that might teach us something, the filmmakers merely rehash the human physicality of these sea-going birds (namely that they stand up straight). That said, the camera crew should be commended for its astonishingly beautiful work: the crisp images reveal South Georgia as a breathtaking location with rocky beaches, grassy hills and soaring mountain peaks while getting up close and personal with the penguins and other animals both on the land and underwater.

Rich Cline


Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

Production compaines: Atlantic Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Anthony Geffen, Sias Wilson

Producer: Anthony Geffen, Sias Wilson

Starring: as Narator

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.