A scheming raccoon fools a mismatched family of forest creatures into helping him repay a debt of food, by invading the new suburban sprawl that popped up while they were hibernating...and learns a lesson about family himself.
Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.
It's 'vege-mania' in Wallace and Gromit's neighborhood, and our two enterprising chums are cashing in with their humane pest-control outfit, "Anti-Pesto." With only days to go before the annual Giant Vegetable Competition, business is booming, but Wallace & Gromit are finding out that running a "humane" pest control outfit has its drawbacks as their West Wallaby Street home fills to the brim with captive rabbits. Suddenly, a huge, mysterious, veg-ravaging "beast" begins attacking the town's sacred vegetable plots at night, and the competition hostess, Lady Tottington, commissions Anti-Pesto to catch it and save the day. Lying in wait, however, is Lady Tottington's snobby suitor, Victor Quartermaine, who'd rather shoot the beast and secure the position of local hero-not to mention Lady Tottingon's hand in marriage. With the fate of the competition in the balance, Lady Tottington is eventually forced to allow Victor to hunt down the vegetable chomping marauder. Little does she know that... Written by
Excellent entertainment, superb characters and great detail
There are a few aspects to Park's movies, and in particular Wallace & Gromit, that I would say make them so great. The first is subtlety and observation, the flagship of which is the character of Gromit. He doesn't speak, he doesn't make any noise, all he has are his eyes, brow, and body posture, and with these he commands the film. Park manages to give us everything we need from this silent character through his expression. The comedy and the emotion is conveyed through the subtlest of movements and it works superbly well.
Watching the movie you have to be aware of the entire screen. Normally you'll be guided to things in the movies, the screen won't be cluttered too much, there won't be many things to take your eyes away from the main clue or action. Park seems to need to look the other way with his movies. He throws extra content at his audience, there's action in the background, to the side of the screen, even off screen, and there's just about always something in the foreground to catch your eye. His movies are about multiple viewing and discovery, they're layered with jokes and ancillary action.
Throughout this film there are layers of things happening on screen, jokes in the foreground maybe on a jar label and background shadows that give away action. You can imagine that for Park the movies has always been an event, and the movies he loves are ones which he wants to watch again and again. This is what shows in his movies, and in through his most beloved characters.
Then there are the bizarre and wacky inventions which Wallace make, something which is reflected in the storyline and the twists and turns of the plot, everything is bizarre and off the wall, yet it seems so perfectly normal in this world. You can imagine that inside Park is the mind of Wallace.
There's also one more thing that make these movies so unique, and that's the modelling and precise hand animation. I must admit I was concerned when I knew Dreamworks was involved in the making of this movie, and I thought that they would bring their computer animation experience to the forefront. What I was scared of was Wallace & Gromit becoming CGI entities, or at the smallest, CGI being used to clean up the feel that the modelling brought to the movie.
Not so. You can still see thumbprints and toolmarks on the characters, and far from distracting from the movie, this just adds so much real feeling to it and a feeling of physical depth to the characters and the scene on screen.
So what of the movie? Well I must say that the plot twist was something I had thought about well before the film was in the cinema and it came as no surprise, but that did not affect my enjoyment one little bit. Actually watching the twist unfold and the comic timing of the discovery and reactions was everything, and it had me just as sucked in as if it was a thriller, yet all the time I was laughing.
Watching the movie was fascinating in various ways. To see the animation completed, how wild the inventions are, how Wallace is going to get into trouble and Gromit get him out, where all the cross references are in the movie, and where all the jokes are! I must admit afterwards talking with my friends I couldn't believe how much I had missed.
There's something different in this movie than with the others, there's a new level of adult humour in here, and I don't mean rude jokes (although there are a couple that are just so British you can't help laughing), I mean jokes that simply fly over kids heads but slap adults in the face. The kind you are used to seeing come out of somewhere like Pixar. This just adds even more appeal to the movie.
Okay though, let me try and be a bit negative here. I didn't notice the voices in this movie, you know how you usually listen to the actors and see if you can recognise them? Well I was just too wrapped up in the movie to care or to notice who they were...okay, that's not negative. Let me try again. The main plot wasn't as strong and gripping as I'd expected, and I found myself being caught up in the side stories and the characters themselves...again...that's not a bad thing, the film was just so much rich entertainment.
I honestly can't think of a bad thing to say about this movie, probably the worst thing I could say is that the title sequence at the end is quite repetitive...until the final title! Really, that's the worst I can say.
The story is a lot of fun, well set-up, well written, well executed. There's lot's of fantastic characters in here, not just Wallace & Gromit. There's so much happening on screen, so many references and jokes (check out the dresses of Lady Tottingham), cheese jokes everywhere, jokes for all the family. The characters are superbly absorbing and you'll find that you've taken to them before you realise. There's just so much in this movie for everyone.
There's so much I could say and write about, but I know it will quickly turn into a backslapping exercise for Park and Aardman, it would also just turn into a series of "this bit was really funny" and "there's a bit when...", and what I would rather do is tell you that this is a superb movie, to go see it, and to experience the whole thing for yourselves. I will say though that the bunnies are excellent!
40 of 51 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?