Damn this film. I hate everything about it. The marketing, the plot, and yeah, the fact that it’s so damn manipulative. OK, I’m the first person to call out people for constantly whining about how everything is “fake” these days, and how consumerist society has become since those tend to be trite criticisms about things people don’t really examine, but boy does this movie make a damn good case for those people. It’s so god damned calculated and clearly designed to make money that it managed to anger me, and again, I’m not usually the kind of person who’d whine about that kind of thing. Almost every creative achievement ever was partly motivated by the thought of making some cash, but this movie is so freaking transparent about it. Maybe that’s what bothers me about it so much, that it’s so utterly graceless in what it’s trying to do.
This film has one of those trailers where they basically give away the whole movie. The plot of this thing is as cookie cutter as can be. It’s a bunch of down on their luck schmucks with problems hastily picked from a stream of pop culture cliches and hastily stitched into this film to form a “story” centred around a singing competition. Disapproving parents will turn around their ill-conceived perceptions, the shy girl will find the courage to sing at the competition by the end, and the theatre will be saved thanks to the efforts of our heroes. This story didn’t need to be about talking animals but it is because kids love them and adults think it’s cute when animals sing pop songs. This film didn’t really need huge celebrities to voice its empty characters but it has them because that’s what sells. This film didn’t need ads featuring three drunk looking rabbits singing “Anaconda” during every commercial break, but I guess marketers know that’s something that’s tragically hard to expunge from your mind. Every decision made for this movie seems explicitly designed to sell tickets, and usually that’s fine, but when it’s done this desperately it just irks me for some reason.
The worst part of all of this is that it’s going to work. This film will make huge amounts of money and people will take their kids every week to be exposed to this lazy filth. They’re going to see those TV spots that are literally animals doing carpool karaoke and think “Hey, I should take my family to see this”. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, (although David Ehrlich of IndieWire has a convincing argument as to why why maybe there is) but it just feels like laziness and crassness winning once again in a year that already has far too much of that. I don’t want to see creative bankruptcy rewarded with oodles of cash, but at the same time, I don’t want to be the kind of person that’s overly concerned with things that approach “purity” in the cinema. This film has eliminated my ability not to care about these sorts of things and has turned me into an obnoxious cynic, and at the same time, it’s basically a soul sucking waste of talent that’s transparently begging people for their hard earned cash. When people see the trailers for this thing, they usually see a talking pig with a funny accent, I see a rich dude in a suit on his knees begging for some cash. It’s embarrassing for us both.
Quotes of the Day:
“Shut up and take my money.”
“I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”