Film Review – Animal Kingdom: Let’s Go Ape
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- Published on Friday, 23 October 2015 13:00
- Last Updated on 19 October 2015
- Freda Cooper
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Ever noticed that some films are only released through one cinema chain? It’s not uncommon for smaller, independent films but when a big group is involved, it’s more unusual – and often a bad sign. Released in time for half term, Animal Kingdom: Let’s Go Ape is only being screened in Vue cinemas. A bad omen? London Mums’ film critic, Freda Cooper, finds out.
In a pre-historic world, a primate king has twin sons. One becomes an outcast because he’s smaller, weaker and appears to be part human and he grows up in secret, away from his tribe. He soon turns out to be no ordinary ape: he learns how to walk on two legs, how to hunt and cook and discovers fire. And he leads his people to a whole new life – and a better one.
Trailers are often in the firing line for giving the wrong impression about a film. Not this time. This is one film that really is as bad as it looks in the trailer. If anything, it’s worse.
By all accounts it cost somewhere in the region of $40 – $50 million dollars to make, but it’s hard to tell what that money went on. It can’t have been the animation, which looks cheap to the point of shoddy, with plastic-looking primates covered with what appears to be faux fur. Other supposedly pre-historic animals are just familiar creatures – giraffes, rhinos, ostriches etc – with an added horn or tusk. Hardly a feast of creativity. And the dubbing into English is so bad it can’t have cost more than sixpence.
But there’s something worse, and infinitely more unacceptable, about the film – and bear in mind this is a PG certificate, so deemed suitable for eight year olds by the British Board of Film Classification. The central character, the half man/half ape Edward is given the voice of a streetwise teenager that would be more at home on EastEnders. He was brought up by albino ape, Jan, who has a speech impediment. As a result, he’s viciously bullied by the other primates. It all leaves a rather nasty taste in the mouth.
Mums’ rating: 1/10
I’ll spare you the rest. Animal Kingdom: Let’s Go Ape is truly terrible and, if that’s not bad enough, it’s distasteful as well. Unfortunately, this half term isn’t exactly packed with good family movies, but this one is most definitely at the bottom of the pile. Spend your money on something else!
Animal Kingdom:Let’s Go Ape is released in Vue cinemas on Friday, 23 October 2015. See it at your peril.
Film critic and radio presenter Freda Cooper has been a movie fan all her life – the best qualification for the job! A contributor to a number of film websites, she also presents her weekly podcast, Talking Pictures, a finalist in the UK Podcasters Awards. Her movie blog, formerly The Coops Review, is now also called Talking Pictures, and was shortlisted at this year’s UK Blog Awards. And you can hear her film reviews every Friday morning on BBC Surrey and BBC Sussex!