DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Not wild about THE WILD

The Wild (U)
Dir. Steve 'Spaz' Williams

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“Je suis koala. Spreken zie koala?” Man, you better hope so if you’re planning an excursion into The Wild this week. That’s because Nigel the koala (voiced by the ever funky Eddie Izzard) is the only reason to venture into this Disney dish of blatant ‘how many tie in cuddly toys can we sell?’ topped off with an unhealthy ‘all you can eat buffet’ of rancid sentimental cheese…
So young lion cub (voiced by Greg Cipes) is accidentally shipped from the New York Zoo to the wilds of Africa… How will this domesticated lion survive when his food isn’t served to him on a plate? Will he find his way home and perhaps most importantly, will his wacky bunch of friends and family including Kiefer Sutherland voicing his dad, James Belushi as an amorous squirrel and the token ‘sensitive’ giraffe manage to raise more than a smile from the stale script?
Stop me if you’re felling some déjà vu here because it does all sound a bit familiar… That’ll be the fact that even though there’s some Lion King left over moments shoehorned in here, this is basically the same storyline, which was done better last year in Madagascar.
You can virtually see the writer’s desperation dripping from the screen – quick we need more wackiness – send in a penguin curling team, now we need some baddies – let’s have William Shatner as a villainous wildebeest who wants to eat a lion? Oh dear, there’s only one person who can save the day…Yes the burden of making any of The Wild watchable ultimately falls not on the first time director who goes by the name Steve 'Spaz' Williams (his words not mine), but on the furry hunched shoulders of Nigel the English koala. Nigel is the star, he deserves a film of his own and his deadpan one liners are so much sharper than anything else on offer that you have to wonder if Eddy Izzard simply adlibbed all of his lines?Yes there are semi amusing moments from a host of throw away ethnic bit part players - Italian alligators, Indian pigeons, Austrian insects and Canadian geese anyone? The younger, less media savvy children out there might be able to look past the slightly creepy ‘can’t see the lips move’ animation style and go home less bored than their parents. But whichever way you look at this film, it’s not going to drive anyone wild!!

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ö
– none to speak of really
Laughs öö – Nigel does his best but it's an uphill struggle
Horror ö – wildebeest aren't acceptable villians
Babes ö – it's wrong to look at giraffes like that!

Overall öö (weak and cuddly - one of these stars is purely for Nigel!!)

"you'll need the newspaper to clear up the 'droppings'...

Read my Madagascar review


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