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

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Advertisement
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

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.