Bingers, did you also love Coraline? How about Kubo and the Two Strings? If you did, then you’d be happy to know that the studio behind these films, LAIKA, gives you a new stop-motion animation feature that will delight you. Missing Link is the studio’s fifth offering featuring the voices of Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Stephen Fry,and Timothy Olyphant. It follows the journey of a sasquatch’s search for his last remaining relatives on Earth. On paper, the story promises heart and humor but fumbles to deliver them. Curious? Continue reading to find out why!
Buena Vista International Philippines invited us, The Little Binger, last March to the special screening of the movie at the Director’s Club in SM Aura Premiere. The exclusive event was attended by members of the press and my fellow pop culture bloggers. I arrived just in time for the movie with little to no knowledge about it except for the part about its creators. With that said, let’s get down to our take on the movie.
The Missing Link set from the get-go that its visuals are its main selling point. After all, LAIKA is the only studio now who produces films using the medium! I fell in love with the intricacy of the designs and craft in Coraline but Missing Link is on a whole new level! The figures or, should I say, characters, felt and looked real! Their emotions looked more authentic and their motions are more fluid. I sometimes can’t help but wonder whether I was still watching stop-motion or CGI. Of course, not the entirety of the film was made from stop-motion and here is where the magic of CGI comes in. When you have the elegance of the animation and drape it over with stunning CGI for the environment, the result is pure visual spectacle! And this part is truly a win for the movie! But then again, a good movie cannot rely on spectacle alone. At the core of it, there has to be a good narrative that will bind it all up. Sadly, Missing Link, has yet to find one.
The plot of the Missing Link, in a nutshell, is just like Indiana Jones for kids. We got an explorer, a damsel (not quite in distress), a sidekick, and villains who are also on the hunt for the same treasure. Sure, it is not fair to expect an exquisite plot from the movie knowing that it is primarily targeted towards the younger audience but the kid in me failed to even be delighted by what I saw. I am not entirely dismissing the film as it had some good parts, though. One in particular is the Mr. Link’s desire for belonging thus the journey to Shangri-La.
The film labelled itself as a comedy but I sensed it more as an adventure film with tinge of emotion. If I will be quite honest, comedy is the weakest part of the film. The humor felt offbeat and dry. Alright now, this is probably just us. Humor is subjective, Bingers! With that said, Missing Link is a roller coaster ride. It has its ups and downs. The premise was there and so is the attempt of the studio to continue on with the legacy of giving us beautiful narratives but it failed to put the pieces together for one big satisfying film.
Director: Chris Butler
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis
Binge-level: 3 out of 5 stars