Monday, November 01, 2004

Shark Tale

If you've noticed a lack of film reviews on WL, it's partly down to the fact that I never have the motivation to go to the cinema. Being on half term holiday, however, persuaded me to go along, with a few friends and see the latest animated blockbuster, 'Shark Tale'. I was discouraged by the critics and their reviews, but that wasn't going to let me be put off.

Will Smith voices the 'hero' OscarBeing a fan of Shrek, I was eager to see what else Dreamworks could cook up for their viewing public and I expected something, again, to be aimed at the kids, but to include enough material to keep slightly older people (though I'm saying nothing of my mental age!) glued to the screen. I wasn't disappointed.

Will Smith is a likeable hero as Oscar, who is practically Will in fish-form. It's admirable the way this has been done with all the characters, especially with Angelina Jolie's underwater equivalent, Lola. On the other hand, the animation isn't quite up to the standard of that of Shrek, which was a disappointment.

With some of the characters, the film is predictable, but there are some enjoyable ones, especially with the fish that aren't constantly in shot. I really enjoyed Jack Black as Lenny, the vegetarian shark who likes to dress as a dolphin and the Rastafarian jellyfish, while the shrimps (or were they prawns?) provided my friends and I with the most laugh-out-loud moments in the film. Then again, they weren't as plentiful as I expected.

Shark Tale is a slow starter, taking time to establish itself, but after that it's a lot more fast paced, and what was the ending was almost unexpected, partly due to the introduction taking so long. To sum up the plot quickly, young fish lies to become a hero, but is a fake, falls for beautiful fish then discovers love is a lot closer to home, ends up saving the day by being honest. As soon as the 'hidden' messages emerge, it does become a little cheesy, but that's kiddie flicks for you.

We would rate Shark Tale a respectable 3.5/5 if it wasn't for the finale, aka Christina and Missy's cover of 'Car Wash'. Oh dear.