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  • Entertainment

MOVIE: Early Man delivers comedy bronze

Wednesday, 24th January, 2018 7:00pm
MOVIE: Early Man delivers comedy bronze
MOVIE: Early Man delivers comedy bronze

OSCAR winning writer, director and animator Nick Park doesn’t make that many movies, probably given how long it takes to film stop-motion, but when he does, it’s almost certain to be highly entertaining.   

Park’s last feature film (aside from his producer role on ‘Shaun the Sheep’) was 2005’s ‘Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit’. 

With six Oscar nominations in the bag and four wins, Park is on top of his game, although it’s a very slow race he’s running. 

And speaking of games, it’s the beautiful one that features at the heart of Park’s latest offering, ‘Early Man’.

Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures roamed the earth, the movie tells the story of courageous caveman hero Dug (played by Eddie Redmayne) and his best friend Hognob, as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy, Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston), and his Bronze Age City to win a football match and save their home.

The film is billed as a clash of the ages, Bronze vs Stone, and there are so many jokes to be mined from this historical set-up that the producers could probably have written another five scripts. 

Interestingly, they chose football as a backdrop for this story, showing how the caveman discover and adapt to this strange new game and its odd rules. 

This of course, leads to even more hilarious situations and a final showdown soccer match where the stakes are high and the laughs are plentiful. 

This type of movie, as lovers of ‘Chicken Run’ and the Wallace & Gromit series will know, is perhaps the best form of family entertainment that exists. 

You can bring the kids, or go on your own, and everyone will enjoy it equally. The animation is impressive and the voiceover work of Redmayne, Hiddleston and Maisie Williams amongst others, really brings the clay characters to life. 

But it’s Park’s ingenuity as a writer to imagine rib tickling scenarios and clever witty dialogue that makes this film one that we love, and score a chucklesome, 4 out of 5 stars.

Paul O’Rourke 

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