I thought I’d counteract my bitchiness and grouchiness of Joker receiving an undeserving 11 Academy Award nominations today by quickly reviewing a movie that I saw with my family this weekend, one that actually surprised me with how much fun it was, SPIES IN DISGUISE. And by quickly reviewing this, I mean that it has already been out for about three weeks, so you either have a. Already Seen It or b. Want To See It But Waiting For Rental. If you were waiting for my review, why? A lot of you that have seen the Joker disagree with my merits of it being completely overrated. But then again, I ask if you’ve seen Taxi Driver, and you ask me what exactly that is. Ok, casual moviegoer. Ok, DC Comics biased. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, ok, well Spies In Disguise is a family film delight filled with great voice acting by Will Smith (yes, he was himself, but you can tell he was having so much fun with it) & Tom Holland, many fun action gadget sequences, and feel good message about non-violence. Yes, it really does have that in there and it doesn’t try to slam you over the head with it either! It has a solid pace, and is an overall solid adventure that even young kids will follow. It will certainly make your day-day (you won’t get my reference here until you’ve seen the movie, and until your kid repeats the phrase day-day over and over several hours after the movie is over).
I also said that I was going to review Just Mercy, please have some mercy on me as I am not going to review it anymore. I had a ticket to it, twice in fact, but then I kept returning it because I kept saying to myself, “am I really interested in seeing this film that a. I know the outcome to and b. just another court room drama with a message?” And the answer was no, switched to a maybe if it got any Academy Award noms, but since it didn’t today, the answer switched back to no, deal with it. What is there to say about Spies In Disguise other than my recommendation in that it is a lot of fun and that it is a movie the whole family can enjoy…hmmmm…well I laughed a ton and while walking out of the theater I realized the marketing for one didn’t do it any favors. When I saw trailers and TV spots for this, I just knew it was about Will Smith as a spy that turns into a pigeon for most of the film, because of a dorky young geek tech adult voiced by Tom Holland. What those trailers didn’t reflect was the grand adventure it takes Will Smith’s pigeon and Tom Holland’s geeky side kick. In the marketing there is no indicator that the story is about a spy being framed and on the run, his run in with other hilarious pigeons while a pigeon himself, and the laugh out loud, fun action sequences they all get into together. And the fact that Tom Holland is a gadget techie that is very “non-violent” due to the fact this his mom was a cop and died tragically when he was younger. The studio just marketed the fact that Will Smith and Tom Holland are the voices, and didn’t have any confidence in the fun and zany plot. Very odd.
It’s just a fun, yet probably forgettable down the line, solid hour and 40 minute family kids film. Looking at the Academy Award nominations and last weekends Golden Globes win, I happened to also check out another animated film that won over Toy Story 4 last weekend, and got a nomination today, called Missing Link, LAIKA studios new movie. And while the animation in it was amazing (LAIKA stop motion animation will never be anything short of dazzling), I thought the film to be really sub par, meh, and boring. Probably because this is coming off their best film (one that will be pretty hard to ever beat), Kubo And The Two Strings. I just didn’t care about any of the characters in the movie, including Susan the Sasquatch, and the two bits in it that sparked my brief attention was a fantastically staged boat hallway chase scene, and a bridge collapsing climax, weren’t enough to change my mind about it. The rest of the film is just weird boring backstories that don’t really go anywhere, and it felt like Hugh Jackman and Zack Gilifinakis were just reading the dialogue without really any finesse. Zoe Saldana seemed to be the only one that cared that she had that job and wanted to be there, trying hard to make her character more than one dimensional (even though the script did nobody any arc favors whatsoever). I don’t get all the Academy and Golden Globes love on that one at all. I am now cheering for Toy Story 4, but secretly hope that Netflix’s Klaus steals it from them all. If you haven’t seen Klaus…DO IT NOW. Another perfect holiday family animated film. Honestly, Spies In Disguise probably should’ve taken that nomination spot. Loads better than that boring drivel.
I mean, there is nothing more to say about Spies In Disguise other than that you will be pleasantly surprised. That’s it, and being pleasantly surprised always means a good recommendation from me. I think I’ve just had it with Joker overrated-ness and it is effecting my day. Which it shouldn’t be. Hopefully it wears off before I go see Bad Boys For Life this Friday and I can write a focused review on that, instead of going off topic a thousand times like I did for this one (did I seriously just review three other films in my previous paragraphs?) But I really liked this film, my wife really liked it and was surprised that she did as well, and it grabbed most of my son’s undivided attention (especially once Smith becomes a pigeon). It made my Saturday with my family absolutely delightful, especially in light of the shitty weather we got the night before and how cold it was that morning. Usually there is a wide opening family film each holiday season, that is normally released on Christmas day, and usually that film is usually a piece of shit in disguise. Who knew this would turn out to be a half-way decent surprise in disguise?