Sunday, October 23, 2016

Movie Review: STORKS

Storks have always been known for delivering babies, but not in the last 18 years where they have moved to delivering packages with a remarkable success. Junior (Andy Samberg) is about to be promoted to "the Boss", he just has one task to do before, that is firing Tulip (Katie Crown), an orphan girl who lives with the storks. Things go unexpectedly south and a baby is created, now Junior's goal is to deliver this baby before his boss knows anything about it or he will surely be fired.

Being an adamant Nicholas Stoller fan, I was looking forward to this film from one of the best comedy directors of our times. Storks might lack the depth or the grit that we have had the pleasure to experience with many animated films of all kinds in recent years, yet it manages to overcome many of its issues with sheer sense of joy and fun, making for a constantly kinetic experience.

The characters in this film aren't what really sticks out. Sure you start to feel something for the main central relationship and there are a couple of side characters that get to have a valid arc, but honestly there isn't really anything that's deeply moving or engaging about these characters, they have a very explicit arc and a very schematic development. At no point was I bothered by them, on the contrary many of them are quite enjoyable to have on screen, yet when it comes to giving emotional payoff or touching the audience's heart, Storks didn't exactly do it for me and it would have made for a slightly prodding film were it not for its energy.

What makes this film worth the ticket of entrance is the incredible artisanship implemented in the comedic sketches. Scene after scene, the number of jokes included just flies past you and even if the film loses steam with its family story-line, as soon as you're back in the comedy you just roll with it instantly. Stoller and his co-director Doug Sweetland just don't give the audience the time to take it all in and throw at you the very best visual comedy there is in the animated industry right now.

The brilliance in each joke was astounding and the frequency of such intelligent comedy was even more. The way the animators and the directors find a way to turn every single story beat into a hilarious gag is a pleasure to behold. The use of sound too is vital to the success of many jokes and is used sparingly in a way that doesn't become overbearing and on the nose as it is easy to become using sound as a comedic tool. These people know comedy and its workings deeply and they show their full wisdom in it with this filmmaking effort. Just brilliant visuals, I was radiating a wide-spread smile on my face at every cut, both because of the genuine laughter induced by these great jokes and out of joy for the great exercise in craft of film and comedy.

Stoller proves once again his great sensibilities in the comedy realm and whilst both emotionally and thematically the film was underwhelming, the amount of success the filmmakers accumulate with the comedy in this film is so high you still manage to be engaged at every scene.

James's Score: 7/10

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