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Julio Soto Gurpide
In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting race through the Forbidden Forest leading to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history.
Thirteen years ago, the power-mad General Zhong seized control of Planet Bana and tore it to pieces in the process. Now splintered into hundreds of shards, Zhong is Bana's evil-overlord, ruling with an iron fist. Enter Spark, a teenage monkey and his friends, Vix, a battle-ready fox, and Chunk, a tech-savvy pig. Spark learns of Zhong's secret plan to take over the universe by capturing a giant space monster known as the Kraken - a beast that has the power to create black holes. If Zhong manages to harness the Kraken's power, he'll have history's deadliest weapon at his fingertips, and it's up to Spark and his friends to stop him. Spark's journey takes him to the farthest reaches of the universe, where he encounters great dangers and discovers the secret of his true identity. An action-packed space adventure full of humor and heart, Spark is the story of a boy who takes on great responsibility and in the process discovers his rightful place in the universe. Written by
This movie straddles the fine line between being too childish for adults and too adult for children
The movie follows the story of a teenage monkey named Spark, whose planet is partially destroyed when an evil monkey named Zhong summons the space kraken. 13 years later, Spark seeks to fight back and free his world and the universe from the evil rule of Zhong.
The story is cliché, but has the potential to be engaging for children and adults alike. We have an inexperienced young protagonist learning about himself and overcoming the odds. We have a slightly comedic antagonist. We have a voice talent of Patrick Stewart, who has already shown what he can do in a kids animated movie with such gems as Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. Unfortunately, even the voice talent of Patrick could not save this mess
For a start, the movie can't decide what it wants to be. Many of the jokes are likely to go over the heads of children. And most adults who get the jokes will not think they are funny. It tries to appeal to adults and kids, and ends up failing to appeal to either. When children in the theater are more interested in scooting down the stairs in the aisle, you know something is wrong.
We also never get to see the characters grow or develop. At the end of the movie, I couldn't care less about Spark or his journey. His companions are forgettable. The problem is that the story is shallow and lets the movie down. We can't sympathise with the hero because we don't get to share any emotions with him. Spark really has little to overcome and doesn't grow much as a character. The space roaches are comedic foils, similar to Scrat from Ice Age. Scrat's trials with his acorn provide a short interlude that breaks up the main plot into smaller pieces. Moreover, we end up feeling for him as we share his failures and his successes. That is probably why he is such an engaging character and has developed a fan base all his own. The space roaches do not share the same success. They are underdeveloped and irritating, instead distracting from the main story with pointless sight gags and mimicry jokes.
Finally, expect to see a lot of references to better movies. Star Wars in particular is sprinkled throughout, but also expect a little Lion King imagery just for fun. Unfortunately, here the movie fails again. The Star Wars references are cringe-worthy because they are so blatant, completely out of character, and unexplained. And as for the Lion King reference, when Mufasa appeared to Simba, I felt Simba's fear that he wouldn't match up to his father, and his growing resolve that he had to fight Scar for the sake of the Pridelands. When Spark's father appeared to him, I only thought 'Where is his mouth and what am I looking at?' Beyond that, I just didn't care.
In summary, this movie is left trying to find an audience. The stories and characters were underdeveloped, and the jokes fail to appeal to any age group.
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