By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Three Beers) –
Some time has passed since the last time we met Mumble the Penguin in Happy Feet, and he has started a family with the love of his Avian life Gloria. Their son Erik, much like his father in the first film, feels outcast because he is different. And… actually. Fuck this… There are at least 3 more side-plots in this movie and I can’t be bothered to go over all of them. Suffice to say, you get childhood angst, a Puffin voiced by the Swedish Chef, environmental messages, and a pair of gay Krill.
“Want to see my bioluminescent pleopod?”
This one goes out to director George Miller, who definitely wants these films to mean something. Both Happy Feet and its sequel are clearly labors of love for the filmmaker, attempting to say so much that it can often be overwhelming. For what it is worth, the voice acting is excellent, and often hilarious. Hank Azaria lends a bizarre exuberance to Sven, the “flying penguin” (really a winged bird in disguise). Brad Pitt and Matt Damon are the film’s true highlight, however, as the aforementioned crustacean couple. Their side story is adventurous, ridiculous, and truly fun to watch.
Proper praise should also be given to Dr. D Studios, the digital production company responsible for the wonderfully rendered effects. The character animation is solid, but the real star is the landscapes, which are rendered so well as to be nearly indistinguishable from real scenery.
Of course, then they have to go and ruin things with making it a musical. If the story was strong enough I could forgive the songs, but the fact is that the music herein is little more than an excuse to sell soundtrack albums with covers of hip-hop and pop classics. Also, the dated Numa Numa and Rick Astley internet references make it all too clear the audience this film is being marketed for.
Surprised this track didn’t make the cut…
As I mentioned above, the story is somewhat problematic. The experience of watching Happy Feet Two feels like sitting in a chair as someone throws gobs of melted cheese at your face. Sometimes you get a mouthful, and it is tasty, but mostly it is all about getting covered in goop and occasionally burning… There are a lot of good ideas in the movie, but they are approached with all the care and composure of a special-ed classroom on Jimmy’s birthday just before the cake is served. There are moments in this movie that approach cinematic brilliance, while others feel dangerously retarded, and in need of a quick resolution.
Despite some major flaws, there are some truly entertaining moments throughout. Just don’t expect too much.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: anytime you hear a pun
Down a Shot: when the movie tries to squeeze in some environmental message or another
Take a Drink: anytime they break out into song