Take a Drink: for godawful puns
Take a Drink: whenever the “action” conveniently blurs the animation
Take a Drink: for scatological humor
Take a Drink: whenever you see the (racist?) Green Homes logo
Take a Drink: for comments about bear smell
Do a Shot: for the fuckin’ Arctic Shuffle
By: Henry J. Fromage (Six Pack) –
There’s something about January that allows studios to display just how little of a shit they give about their audiences and get away with it. Just because it’s often been several weeks or months since the famously undiscerning horror and family film audiences have been served, any bare-bones, bottom-dollar tripe in those two genres will get a wide release.
And Norm of the North is all of that, and more.
Describing the plot almost makes me shudder in revulsion at the brazen laziness of it all. Norm (Rob Schneider) is the song of the king of the Arctic or some shit, and he sucks at hunting, but can talk human and gyrate in a manner easy to animate cheaply called the “Arctic Shuffle” which is apparently something no human can resist. He heads to New York (?) to foil the plans of an evil developer who wants to build condos in the Arctic (Ken Jeong), but ends up working for him that Arctic Shuffle proves just the thing the developer needs to boost his approval ratings in order to get permission from the Arctic Council to build those condos. See what I mean? Lazy as fuck.
No fucking way.
There were only two other people in the theater, an elderly couple who looked like they escaped from the Alzheimer’s Ward and stumbled into the first warm place they could find. The good news is that these four full-priced tickets put Norm of the North in the black. The bad news is the budget is clearly $40 dollars and all the gruel the third world orphan animators could eat. The bland settings, the choppy movement and nonsense physics, and the offensive ugliness of the character design all make this very clear.
The animation isn’t the only element that is bizarrely cheap. The soundtrack is a mix of the cheapest three year old pop cuts and voicework from the cheapest D-list actors, plus Ken Jeong, who’ll take your money but who won’t bother to show up to set, judging by the sound quality of his lines. He’s clearly delivering them over the phone, possibly from his Dr. Ken– built gilded throneroom.
The biggest element of this film’s marketing campaign are its lemmings, because Lionsgate thinks America is a wet paper sack of drooling idiots. These very clear Minions knock-offs with their nonsense, Ewok language, constant prat-falls, and endless scatalogical excretions and exclamations were the marketers’ best swing at getting bodies in the door, and that tells you all you really need to know.
One of these farts constantly. That’s all.
They just made a joke about “all animals looked alike” followed by a silent “shocked reaction” take. These motherfuckers think they’re edgy. They’re making a what they somehow think is a “race joke”. The real joke is that these lily white, entirely talentless hacks are taking up space in a film industry that literally any other racial, sexual, or national perspective would more valuably fill entirely regardless of quality, just because they let their rich Hollywood producer uncles touch them every Thanksgiving or some such shit. That’s the punchline.
This film is literally nauseating and exhausting, in that I was literally feeling nauseous and mind-numbingly lethargic as the minutes stretched into hours stretched into days. As the film works to its third, somehow still entirely predictable ending, my wife turned to me and told me she’d never accompany me to a movie I have to review again. Solid choice. This fucking thing has more endings than The Return of the King. Will I live to see the end of them?
As the credits rolled, I looked over to the elderly couple and saw the old woman shaking her companion by the shoulder. Judging by the smell, he had passed sometime around the gay joke-infused ice-dancing scene, probably from a heart broken by the feral ugliness the profit motive brought out in these ‘filmmakers”. As the old woman quietly sobbed I took small comfort that Alzheimers would soon steal away the horrific memories of what she’d just witnessed. Unfortunately, I still have at least 40 years before my brain will be scrubbed so refreshingly clean.
PS- They’re already working on a fucking sequel, aren’t they…