03 October 2005

"Cracking Film!!!"

Most cracklingly excellent! I'll be standing in line at the theatre come 14.October...


: "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"

Movie Review by Kenneth Leung
Published: September 20, 2005

Peter Sallis as Wallace (voice)
Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Tottington (voice)
Ralph Fiennes as Lord Victor Quartermaine (voice)

Aardman Animations Lt.
©2005 DreamWorks Animation L.L.C. and DreamWorks L.L.C.

Ten years since disposing of the mechanized canine Preston in 'A Close Shave', Wallace and Gromit have been taking it easy, bar inventing the odd gadget as seen in the 'Cracking Contraptions' short film series. Now the overzealous inventor and his down-to-earth mutt are back in their first feature-length film with a new adventure.

The Annual Giant Vegetable Competition is only days away but the villagers' prized produce are under attack from some very pesky rabbits. Cue the entry of 'Anti-Pesto', the humane sophisticated vegetable protection system from our title characters. The business seems to be going smoothly until a much larger furrier threat starts to loom in the dark of night. With the whole vegetable competition under threat of being completely cancelled, event organizer and love interest Lady Tottington commissions Wallace to deal with the threat, much to the chagrins of Lord Victor Quartermaine, the trigger-happy slimeball and Wallace's main competition for Lady Tottington's affection.

Right off this movie continues the same vein as the three previous Wallace and Gromit short films. 'Wallace and Gromit - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit' may not have an elaborate plot (although it occasionally throws you a twist here and there) but the way the movie grips the audience is by the funny bone. Whether it is the numerous puns that litter this story or the various comical references to other movies such as 'Harry Potter' or 'King Kong' (which surprisingly are opening later this year), Nick Park has done a wonderful job of making you laugh almost every minute. Thank God this movie is only eighty-five minutes long, otherwise it might be unbearable.

The claymation is wonderful, as I am still wondering how the film-makers make all those rabbit clay models fly about all over the place. It is comforting to know that, despite everybody seemingly try to become more futuristic in their film-making, some people in the movie industry still use old-school methods to entertain us. The supporting characters are great with a good representation of the typical village community acting typically British. Helena Bonham Carter (as Lady Tottington) and Ralph Fiennes (as Victor Quartermaine) are totally unrecognizable in their characters and beautifully supplement the story (even though their background & relationship are never truly explained).

Yet what everybody likes about Wallace and Gromit movies are Wallace and Gromit themselves. The cheese-loving Wallace is simple and incompetent at times (in fact, most of the time) but has good intentions. Gromit, on the other hand, is the sensible loyal companion who seems to express himself a lot despite not saying anything at all.

'Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit' is a hilarious debut from lovable pair. Let's hope we will hear Wallace saying catchphrases such as 'Smashing job, Gromit!' and 'I'm crackers about cheese!' more often.

Overall Grade: A-


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