May 8, 2016

Movie Review: BLING

Starring the voices of Taylor Kitsch, Jennette McCurdy, James Woods, Carla Gugino, Tom Green, Jon Heder, Jason Mewes, Jim Breuer, Lex Lang. Directed by Kyung Ho Lee & Wonjae Lee. (2016, 82 min).

On the surface, Bling is aptly titled. It's shiny, colorful and hardly ever stops moving. There might even be enough eye candy to amuse undemanding youngsters for a short while...maybe even the entire running time. I say maybe, because that surface sheen is all Bling really has going for it, and since the movie is mostly a hodge-podge of images and ideas from better movies, even the wee ones may experience a bit of deja vu after awhile.

From a technical standpoint, considering its obvious low budget, this CG animated Korean film is certainly ambitious. The animation is serviceable enough for any movie with an arresting story and interesting characters. Unfortunately, Bling has neither of those. The plot more or less focuses on the efforts of two guys trying to get their sweethearts to marry them. Sam, our hero, is a lowly maintenance worker who keeps botching his proposal attempts to news reporter Sue. Meanwhile, Oscar is a spoiled supervillain who threatens to destroy the entire city if Sue’s aunt, Catherine, doesn’t marry him. The fun is supposed to begin when their engagement rings are switched. Instead...the plot is mostly a long, loud, overly-busy chase with the usual quota of fart jokes tossed in (funny how Disney and Miyazaki never resorted to that).

"C'mon, boys...we're a-headin' to the pawn shop."

Even then, it still might have been fun if these characters weren’t bland composites of those in other films (such as the tiny viking-helmeted bad guys obviously inspired by the Minions, only with nipples...seriously). A surprisingly impressive cast of voice talent is completely wasted, especially James Woods. Sure, he hasn’t done much lately, but remember when his unique voice and manic delivery was almost the sole reason Disney’s Hercules was so fun? Here, as a robot henchman, several scenes went by before I even knew it was him.

Bling is definitely aimed more at little kids than the entire family, and as such, it might keep some of them amused a time or two. However, anyone over the age of 10 will likely find it tough to endure. As for parents...there's nothing particularly objectionable about it, so Bling might someday be a cheap & handy 'shut-up-and-let-Dad-drive' disc for that long trip to Grandma's house.


No comments: