Kubo lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta. This causes all sorts of havoc as gods and monsters chase Kubo who, in order to survive, must locate a magical suit of armor once worn by his late father, a legendary Samurai warrior.
In some English language markets, the narration for the commercials only ever states the name of the film as "Kubo," and never once reads out "and the Two Strings." See more »
Kubo is trying to speak to his ancestors when using the lanterns. The light is behind him, yet there is also light shinning directly into his eyes from a source in front of him. See more »
If you must blink, do it now. Pay careful attention to everything you see and hear, no matter how unusual it may seem. And please be warned: If you fidget, if you look away, if you forget any part of what I tell you - even for an instant - then our hero will surely perish.
His name is Kubo. His grandfather stole something from him. And that really is the least of it.
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The Focus Features and Laika logos in the beginning are formed by folding/unfolding sheets of paper, representing Kubo's origami figures. See more »
After hearing a lot of buzz about "Kubo," I had high hopes for this movie. Ultimately though, it's a very mediocre film that never delivers anything satisfying unless you're just in it for the spectacle. All the massive hype for this film left me hugely disappointed, so I put some thought into what went wrong with the story & the characters.
It feels like they took 15 scripts and hastily patched them together in one afternoon. The central concept is that Kubo has magic powers to bring origami figures to life, but the movie COMPLETELY forgets this by the third act and it never comes up again. When the movie forgets its basic plot hook, you know the script is a colossal mess.
There are lots of half-baked ideas that go absolutely nowhere: Kubo has an old lady friend who quickly disappears and never does anything important. He hears that his village has burned down (for all he knows, killing everyone he's ever known), but in the next scene he's laughing and cheerful like nothing happened. The villain has no coherent goal. The dialogue consists of clichés, followed by lousy comic relief, followed by characters tediously monologuing like they're trying to put you to sleep. Even though it hits you over the head with these monologues, the movie fails to convey any actual message or point!
The plot is borderline nonexistent, so the characters should be the backbone of the film. Let's look at the cast! Kubo himself has as much personality as a sheet of cardboard. He had no clear motive at any point; you never relate to him or care about him. He just muddled through the story like a gutless blank slate.
He's helped on his journey by a monkey, who is the worst "sassy sidekick" I've ever seen. She just sounds surly and petulant most of the time; I guess it's supposed to be funny, but it's only annoying. Her voicework is horribly directed. When she doesn't sound whiny, she blandly recites lines in a stilted, melodramatic way. There's a plot twist that's supposed to make her more relatable, but it just comes across as cheesy melodrama & adds nothing to the story. The script claims that she has a meaningful relationship with Kubo, but the characters never clicked or showed chemistry.
Kubo is also joined by a comical & jolly samurai, who is easily the only likable character in the film. He's lively, he's upbeat, and we actually SEE him form a friendship with Kubo. He never builds any real depth though; there were many chances to show a more serious or grim side under his cheerful exterior, but he stays a 2-dimensional goofball. When that's the best part of the story, it doesn't bode well.
Due to the flat characters and nonexistent storyline, there was no tension whatsoever in the film. There were incredibly bland action scenes, but there was no sense of stakes or risk. For instance, this movie features a giant skeleton monster and manages to make him look harmless and boring, slooowwwwly shuffling along like he's half- asleep. There are no thrills, no excitement, no heart. You can tell people put a lot of hours and money into the film, but absolutely no sincerity or sense of purpose.
That's a lot of words, but I walked out of this movie very disappointed and wanted to give a clear reason why. Overall, "Kubo" is a mediocre popcorn flick. The technical animation quality is good, but it's a big- budget Hollywood production so that's no impressive achievement. Many people will be easily-impressed by the big-budget effects, but if you want a film with an actual story, decent characters, heart, competent voice directing, and/or a POINT, you will miss absolutely nothing if you skip "Kubo".
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