Monday, 12 December 2011

Happy Feet Two

DIRECTED BY: George Miller
WRITTEN BY: George Miller, Gary Eck, Warren Coleman, Paul Livingston
STARRING: Elijah Wood, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams, Pink, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon
RATING: 2.5 stars

The first Happy Feet film was mildly entertaining, but I don't think anyone actually asked for a sequel. We've been given one anyway and I'm probably in the minority when I say I think the sequel is slightly better than the original, though neither film is all that good.

In Happy Feet Two, Mumble (Elijah Wood) and Gloria (Pink, replacing the late Brittany Murphy) have a young son named Erik (Ava Acres) who is not so keen on dancing. Erik is teased by the other penguins so he runs away and meets a penguin named Sven (Hank Azaria) who can fly. There is no way that Mumble can compete with Erik's new hero, until another global warming disaster threatens the Emperor penguin community and it's up to Mumble to save them all. Meanwhile, Will the Krill (Brad Pitt) decides he wants to be independent rather than at the bottom of the food chain with all the other krill in his swarm, but his buddy Bill the Krill (Matt Damon) is not as prepared for their adventure. The two plots are mostly kept separate until towards the end, and even then are not really tied very closely together.

There are few people I would consider to be a comedy genius but Robin Williams (Ramon and Lovelace) and Azaria are two of them. Their presence in Happy Feet Two is enough to make the film entertaining. Pitt and Damon are also very funny with their strange krill bromance while Pink provides some great tunes throughout the film. The real emotion and heart, however, comes from Wood and Acres who give great performances as father and son. Acres is especially good in one scene when she sings a beautiful song about Mumble. It's a very touching moment.

3D is so expensive for the average family to pay and, while I enjoyed aspects of the 3D effects, it probably isn't worth paying the extra money for it. So yes, the penguins are cute, the choreography is great and the songs are fun, but what we get in this sequel is pretty much what we got in the original film. Let's hope George Miller doesn't bother with a third instalment.



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