Sunday, 27 March 2016

Review: Capture The Flag

World of Blackout Film Review

Capture The Flag Poster

Capture The Flag (2D)
Cert: PG / 94 mins / Dir. Enrique Gato / Trailer
WoB Rating: 4/7

Well, this is an odd fish. A family adventure film that uses a 21st century space-race as an allegory for the 1960s space race? It must have been a tough pitch, but it just about works. Given the main narrative being 12yr old Mike being launched into space with his friend Amy and estranged grandfather Frank following a botched sabotage attempt at NASA, the film borrows liberally from both Space Camp and Space Cowboys. That said, there are more than a few nods to Back To The Future in there, too. Let's just say that this film is very pop-culturally aware.

The real problems lie in the simplistic screenplay and heavy-handed script*1. Its heart is firmly in the right place, but lacks that spark of greatness. If this was Disney or DreamWorks, it'd be immediately badged as filler. That it's not scores the movie a pass, yet it still needs to work on its own terms (obviously). There are plenty of 'nice' moments, but surprisingly few laughs (although the Kubrick gag in the faked moon-landing sequence made me chuckle).

It's got to be said that for an 'independent' production, Capture The Flag looks great. Although the character-design leaves a lot to be desired, the animation itself is fantastic. Unfortunately, it's fantastic to the point where you can see that the mouth-movements for the Spanish-language original don't quite sync with the English-dubbed voice-track added for the international release. Not that it's by any means a deal-breaker, but it seems a shame. Speaking of which, it's also slightly embarrassing that a film which clearly loves the historical aspects of space exploration needs to have such a blatant disregard for science in order to make the story work. If you have inquisitive kids, prepare for lots of questions you won't be able to answer without basically trashing the film.

Charming yet bland in equal measure, Capture The Flag is a perfectly acceptable time-passer for your younglings, although it's doubtful that the older members of the audience will get much out of it.

So, watch this if you enjoyed?
Most middle-of-the-road animated kids' films, to be fair.

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
Nope, this is a rainy afternoon on the sofa.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
It does, but only because it's not trying too hard.

Is this the best work of the cast or director?
Can't really say as I haven't seen any of Gato's other films, I'm afraid.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
Didn't hear one, no.

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: The English-language version of the movie features the voice of Lorraine Pilkington, who appeared in 2006's After Thomas, as did Kate 'SW:TFA First Order Officer whose name I can't seem to find at this precise moment' Fleetwood.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 The Facebook and Twitter references seem to have been inserted by someone who's familiar with neither. Although I suppose we should be thankful there are no nods to MySpace in the script?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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