Monday, September 27, 2004

Shark Tale review...
I wasn't particularly eager to see this film, having reached a saturation point for computer animation somewhere around the time of Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie.. and for the first five minutes, it looked like my suspicions were justified as the filmmakers piled on every bad fish pun you can imagine. (Comedian Kip Adotta already exhausted this territory years ago with a novelty record called "Fish Story", and the best joke on that would never get past even the most broad-minded family film....) But after a few moments of aimlessness, Shark Tale turns into a fairly clever and fast-moving comedy, the best moments of which are built around the audience's recognition of the voice talent. Will Smith, Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro come off best, allowing the film to shift from "Godfather" riffs to a kind of Daffy Duck heroic lunacy without missing too many beats. It's not a particularly well-crafted story or an distinctively individual work, but the filmmakers have clearly decided that if they keep the gags coming hard and heavy you won't miss any of those other qualities. Other animators have adopted such a plan at their own risk - anybody want to watch Osmosis Jones again? - but Shark Tale manages to pull it off without too many weak jokes lying in its wake.


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