Sunday, September 11, 2016

Movie Review #486: "The Wild Life" (2016)

Movie"The Wild Life"
Director: Vincent Kesteloot and Ben Stassen
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Image Source
Robinson Crusoe (Yuri Lowenthal) is shipwrecked on a small deserted island. There, he and the native animals build a home together, but a few ratter cats from the ship threaten to disrupt their island paradise.

"The Wild Life" is an animated adventure film produced by the countries of Belgium and France by nWave pictures, uFilm, as well as Iluminata. It was released in Europe under the title "Robinson Crusoe." In the United States, however, it received a title change because Studio Canal hoped that by marketing the wild animal angle, it would result in better box office returns as opposed to a title based on an adaptation of an old literary tale kids don't care about and have never cared about and will never care about.

This version of Robinson Crusoe is told by Mak the Macaw, aka Tuesday, voiced by David Howard, to a pair of mice he meets on a pirate ship. He tells them how he and his friends Rosie the Tapir, Epi the Echidna, Pango the Pangolin, Carmello the Chameleon, Kiki the Kingfisher, and Scrubby the nearsighted goat lived together on this small deserted island. He and his friends were happy and thought their tiny island made up the entire world. However, Mak has always dreamed there was more world out there, and when Robinson Crusoe, voiced by Yuri Lowenthal, shows up shipwrecked at the island, Mak is happy he has finally found proof there is more to life than just their island. After an early conflict that quickly gets sorted out, Crusoe and the animals live together on this island, but a pair of cats that arrived with Crusoe are looking to make dinner out of the local wildlife.

There is nothing worse than a boring movie. In fact, sometimes we'd rather watch a downright awful film because at least we will have the angry, mad, upset, pissed off reaction that comes along with it. We feel nothing for "The Wild Life" and its utterly dull, painfully unimaginative premise, characters, and dialogue. The only thing saving this movie from being completely worst of the worst is some of its animation. For the most part, it doesn't look half bad. Most of the time, the static background objects look just fine. Some of the texturing on the character themselves also look well done, but the rest of it looks flat and, just like the rest of it, lackluster. Considering its low $13.5 million budget, we guess it could have been worse.

Despite these semi-respectable visuals, the story is flat out bland. The movie is overloaded with slapstick that never connects with the audience and the most white bread dialogue, you'd think this film was called "Alexander Skarsgard." Robinson Crusoe spends the majority of the movie falling down, fumbling and bumbling and breaking things, and messing whatever is within arms reach of him at every turn. This character is such a dolt, it makes it hard to root for him in....whatever he has to do, we don't remember because it's sooooo boring. The film feels content upon spoon-feeding the audience every single morsel of information, the punchline to every single joke, and doesn't respect the intelligence of its audience. Not all of us are two year olds, you know. Even knowing it's a kids film, the way the entire thing is presented still sounds like it is condescending, even to kids. The colors and action of this island adventure film may appeal to the youngest of children, but any accompanying adults will be counting the very long and very sluggish minutes until this uneventful, brainless bore of a movie finally meets its end.

My Rating: 3.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 3.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~5.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~15%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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