Postman Pat in the 21st century but with disappointing results
Postman Pat was always a family favourite which we still all have a fondness for. Despite being warned very strongly against going to see this film and despite the trailer looking unappetising, I still saw it anyway. It was always going to be a film that would go either way, the amount of talent on board, my general love for family films and for Postman Pat could have suggested that the film would be fun and charming, but there was the worry also that it would look as muddled, target-audience-confused and hasty-looking as the trailer suggested. The film has its moments and it is not from personal opinion quite as bad as heard, but it was a big disappointment. The film begins very promisingly with a very idyllic opening that was the closest the film ever got in resembling the show, the Big Time song is a great upbeat song that has some very funny visual gags, the montage where Pat meets his wife for the first time was very touching and the "Faster Pussy-Bot, Kill Kill!" seemed like a Daleks reference and it was if the case a clever one at that. The soundtrack is catchy and bring energy to the film and the voice cast are good and very enthusiastic, David Tennant sounds like he's having a whale of a time but Steven Mangan, who's very sympathetic and dead-on as Pat, and Jim Broadbent acquit themselves very well too.
Sadly, Postman Pat: The Movie is let down by that it didn't seem to know what to do with itself or know who to aim the film at. The story is rather over-complicated and confused focusing mainly on the talent show subplot and also including a Dr Who-like robot invasion/world domination one, neither of which show any originality, cleverness or charm. The satire for the former is nowhere near sharp enough, the humour actually felt to me rather forced mostly throughout the film and borders on vulgar while the latter felt thrown in and like it belonged in another film altogether, is not all that cleverly or thrillingly done and may contain bits that the younger audience may find scary or upsetting. The script would have benefited from a far more simpler approach and less going on and while it is admirable that the film did clearly think of the adult audience I think it could have done a better job at having more for the youngsters. Some of the jokes will go over their heads, unless they were introduced to Dr Who at a very young age, and if they are familiar with the whimsy and warmth that the show had the film sadly is a far cry from that. The characters are bland, the exceptions being Pat who is very likable and possibly Jess as well but the others lacked personality. The film was unevenly paced with some of the earlier parts in need of more zip and some of the later parts in need of a slow-down, most apparent in a climax that was action-packed but too busy and dark compared to the rest of the film. The soundtrack is one of the best things about Postman Pat: The Movie and Ronan Keating does a great job as Pat's singing voice but it is a case of the singing voice not matching the speaking voice especially in the tone. Just as disappointing as the writing was the animation, the opening was really promising but the rest looked like it was made in a lot of haste and had some very over-saturated and too bright colours, the characters also lack expression and on occasions look creepy, Pat is the one exception. Overall, a disappointing feature film debut of a much cherished classic character, not an awful film and has some good assets but it felt over-stuffed, muddled and bland with some cheap direct-to-video-like visuals with the opening being the only time where it bared any resemblance to the show. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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