By: Oberst Von Berauscht (A Toast) –
Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) is an adventurer extraordinaire, his specialty and obsession being cryptozoology. He seeks to prove the existence of creatures known only in legend. After a failed encounter with the Loch Ness Monster, he receives fan mail from a mysterious American beckoning him to Washington State to search for Sasquatch. He soon learns that it was Sasquatch himself (Zach Galifianakis) that wrote the letter. He is lonely and after reading about the Yeti of the Himalayas, begs Sir Lionel to take him there, hoping to find cousins who he can call family. Frost agrees, knowing that he can also profit himself by providing proof of the existence of Sasquatch. But Frost’s nemesis within the Explorer’s Club sends a killer to stop him from accomplishing both of these goals.
Missing Link is the latest in a series of solid films from stop-motion film studio Laika. Their last entry Kubo and the Two Strings was a visual feast of a film, but lacked a bit in the storytelling department. This feels like a real return to form from the studio. Link manages to be both visually arresting and offer a compelling narrative. Framed within the simple context of a “buddy comedy”, the filmmakers used the simple template to take the story to places that have seldom been explored.
“explored… Get it?”
The voice cast is excellent, with Zach Galifianakis getting special attention for “Susan”, the adorably ignorant Bigfoot. Susan learned the English Language from sparse sources, and his understanding of language is very literal. This makes for numerous fish out of water jokes that are not dissimilar in nature to Dave Bautista’s character in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, though more kid-friendly.
The film’s art design is extravagant. Essentially a “road movie”, the film switches settings often, from foggy London, to a dusty frontier town, to the jungles of India, to the mountains of Nepal. All of which are splendidly crafted, mostly with miniatures, though with some CG enhanced backgrounds to conceal the seams. Finally, Laika’s work with character motion is feeling more and more naturalistic with each new entry.
Widescreen was meant for this.
Missing Link is another charming and visually engrossing movie from Laika, but rises to the studio’s higher ranks through sharp writing and a genuinely compelling narrative.
Missing Link (2019) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever the word “link” is spoken
Take a Drink: for map-drawing establishing segments
Take a Drink: for guns in a KIDS MOVIE? (the horror…)
Drink a Shot: for the rare, but present scatalogical joke