Saturday, 15 October 2016

'Storks' Review

2016 seems to be a year full of surprises. The blockbusters have let us down with some of the most anticipated movies of the year disappointing audiences worldwide. For me, the films that have really surprised me have been lesser known properties as well as films from genres I wouldn't consider as my favourites. Although I do enjoy animated movies, I certainly never expected to like 'Storks' as much as I did!

A long time ago, Storks were used to deliver babies. However, their market has now changed as they focus on delivering packages to customers. Junior (Andy Samberg) looks to get a promotion at the company and is given the task of firing undelivered child and now young adult Tulip (Katie Crown). Junior can't bring himself to do so and Tulip accidentally reactivates the baby making machine bringing a new born child to deal with. Desperate for that job, Junior and Tulip will look to deliver the baby, facing off against fellow employees and potential enemies before his boss finds out.

To my surprise, 'Storks' is one of the best cinema experiences I have had in a while. The main reasoning for this is due to just how funny this movie is. The film is rated 'U' here in the UK and when I realised this, I dreaded the worst. I was worried that this film would be completely watered down and the humour suffering a lot due to this. I could not have been more wrong. There are so many clever jokes that work incredibly well throughout the film that had me in stitches. None more so than the jokes featuring the wolves that were amazing. They do use this joke a few times but the execution each time is perfect and even comes out unexpected, making the impact very effective. The film is filled with great comedy that isn't too childish. Early on as the story establishes the character of Tulip, it does suffer from targeting towards the younger audience but that has to be expected in a kids movie. The character of Tulip brings out the most childish parts of the film with her hyperactive personality and bright colours clearly appealing more towards the younger members of the audience. At times, the humour involving her was very childish but thankfully, she wasn't the main focus for the humour. 'Storks' had me laughing so much throughout the whole movie which is something I can't say about most of this years comedies.

The voice actors in 'Storks' deserve huge credit for their work in this film. Andy Samberg and Katie Crown do very well as the two leads, bouncing off of each other very well. Samberg did very well with the snide remarks about Tulip and the baby and also with the characters progression as he becomes more and more caring. Kelsey Grammar plays Hunter, Juniors boss, and provides a fearful voice to the large stork very effectively. Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key play two wolves and the two combine very well once again, as you'd expect from the pair. By far the standout performance comes from Stephen Kramer Glickman as Pigeon Toady. The pigeon was a complete suck up who tried to fit in by using annoying phrases whilst also being an egomaniac who dreams big. Glickman used a voice that was over the top for the pigeon but was so hilarious throughout the whole film. Any time the character came on the screen, you knew laughs were coming due to Glickman's performance what was one of the highlights of the movie.

The 'U' rating also made me wary that the film would not hold much of a story and just be bright colours and childish humour to entertain young kids. I never expected that this film would look at aspects in real life in the way that it did. The film goes into some depth about the likes of parenthood and how they should look to spend time with their kids before it's too late despite having busy workloads. It also looks closely at how relationships can build between people to being close like family despite no relation at all. This aspect was particularly interesting as it then looked at the opportunity for one of the characters to meet their biological family and how it effected their relationship in a negative way. It was handled very maturely and realistically which goes for a lot of the themes in this film. Not only does the film reflect family life but also our behaviour towards brands and products. This was used more so for comedy but is still effective in the movie. The film certainly isn't as deep as the likes of a 'Zootropolis' or a 'Inside Out', but 'Storks' definitely isn't  just a simple kids movie by any stretch.

As the film looks at many aspects of life as well as focusing on different characters and their stories, the plot does get quite muddled up. The film focuses mainly on Tulip and Junior which ends up making some of the other aspects disappear for large chunks of time. You do feel as if you lose interest and completely forget about some characters as the film doesn't give them that much attention but still dots them about in the film. The whole aspect of getting the baby to its rightful home does seem to get lost as well at times due to the journey but it can't be denied that it is a very fun one. With the journey being so fun, the film seems to get away with this as it creates such an entertaining watch that you don't really miss it.

Overall, 'Storks' is an incredibly fun family movie that surprised me a lot. I haven't laughed so much in the cinema in a long time and I certainly didn't expect this movie to have that effect on me. Some good messages about family and day to day life are mixed in with the comedy to make this film highly enjoyable. The cast do a fantastic job especially Glickman who steals the show. Definitely worth seeing, whether you have kids or not!

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Storks'? If so, what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie, I can't recommend it enough! Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor