Friday, 1 April 2016

Norm of the North (2016)

Norm (Rob Schneider), a misfit polar bear who can't hunt but loves dancing, heads off to New York to stop a rich, selfish guy from turning is arctic home into a piece of real estate. While in NY, Norm ends up being a huge hit with the locals. The plot is clearly breaking new grounds in originality.

Okay, so I've got to a point where I'm playing catch-up with films from a couple of weeks ago ('High-Rise' being the other). However, I was also curious to see this film as I'd heard terrible things about it. I don't know why, but there's something really fascinating watching really crap animated films.

This particular animated film aims to be the same breed as 'Madagascar' and 'Happy Feet', among others, with its talking and dancing animals. Though, unlike those films who have talking penguins as their sidekicks, this ones opts for lemmings in the hopes that they'll turn out to be as popular as the Minions from 'Despicable Me'. Spoiler alert! They're shit. Much like the film.

'Norm of the North' is the kind of film that needs to stop and think about what it is doing. Maybe then it would actually be able to structure itself properly and maybe attempt to put effort in. Because what I was watching was something with ADHD on a sugar rush, the results of which are best summed up as being a mix of the highly generic and 'what the hell am I watching?'.

The film demonstrates no concept of pacing or how to stage a 'joke' (or even what a 'joke' is) as it sluggishly rushes its way through unfunny, incoherent storytelling which is accompanied by a supposedly environmental message, as spouted by some bland, played-straight kid, that's as subtle and pleasant as a hammer blow to the face (if anything, it has the reverse effect and makes you want to see all arctic creatures burn).

As for the animation, it's not great (to put it kindly). But that's not saying much for something this clunkily designed and rendered. And, as this is one of those uninspired animated films, it inevitably ends with the characters all dancing meaninglessly to some bland pop song.

It was a dire film though that is exactly what I was expecting. I'm sure it thinks it's a great, important piece of film-making when, in reality, it's just crap.

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