Yes, I know, I’m continuing a bad trend for late posts this year. February has only 3 films, after the big hitters coming out in January leaving slim pickings this month.
First up, Flight is a film about substance abuse that at times works very well, and at other times goes wide of the mark. The first act, depicting a horrific plane crash that ends miraculously, is exceptionally well done; the sound engineers using the increasingly high-pitched engine noises to great effect, as well as a few other neat little tricks. The entire section is gripping. When the film moves on to its real material, that’s when it starts to flounder. The scenes in which it deals with the main character’s alcohol abuse head on tend to work relatively well. However there are too many sections that are either very forced (most of the material with his family) or are comically over-the-top, particularly the religious messages that are, at times, so heavy-handed as to be laugh-out-loud funny. In a movie about such a serious subject, these flaws seriously detract. The entire film could’ve been a lot better. (See my Flight Twitter review).
We tend not to expect too much from animated movies aimed at children, particularly when Pixar aren’t involved, so it’s a surprise to see such a fun movie in Wreck-It Ralph. The initial hook of a videogame villain who wants his life to mean more plays out quite nicely, with a number of great cameos and spoofs of other games. From there it builds into a funny but sweet story of finding where you belong, even if you’re a bit different than everyone else. It’s not going to be a classic, but it is certainly worth seeing. (See my Wreck-It Ralph Twitter review).
Finally, Warm Bodies is a story about semi-conscious zombies who find that love can help them be better people. It’s not particularly well fleshed out (pardon the pun), much of the plot happening because it’s convenient rather than it making any kind of sense, but it is sweet at times. Okay. (see my Warm Bodies Twitter review).
The winner for February, then, is Wreck-It Ralph: a sweet animation about belonging, that manages to be funny along the way.