No foot-tapping in this sequel

2011-11-28 00:00

HAPPY Feet worked, Happy Feet Two stumbles on its own toes, falls and then wakes up thinking it’s Lassie.

The quick-footed star, Mumble (Elijah Wood,) is back in the sequel, but is now all grown up, eternally bonded to Gloria (Alecia Moore/Pink) and is a father.

His son, Eric (Ava Acres), is experiencing the same search for identity that his father did in the last film, but Eric is bland, quiet and blends into the scenery. In fact, most of the characters are rather uninteresting and all of them dance around the limelight instead of taking centre stage.

The story follows a type of on-stage/off-stage format. Ramon (Robin Williams) leaves, Eric follows, Mumble goes to find Eric, Eric and Mumble come back, other penguins come, Ramon comes back, Mumble leaves, a flock of skua come, Mumble returns, the aliens (humans) come, the birds leave, the aliens leave, the other penguins leave … and so it goes on while the entire Emperor penguin population is trapped by large walls of ice.

There are also some new faces in the snowridden sequel, including Might Sven (Hank Azaria), “a puffin without any poof”, a grumpy elephant seal, Bryan the Beach Master (Richard Carter), and Eric’s two friends, Boadica (Meibh Campbell) and Atticus (Lil P-Nut).

Will the Krill (Brad Pitt) and Bill the Krill (Matt Damon) take on a type of Scrat role from Ice Age and appear randomly with witty, sometimes lame, one-liners like “It’s a krill world”, “I’m one in a krillion” and “I’m tired of being whale food, I’m going to climb up the food chain and eat something with a face!”.

The film contains some hilarious lines, but some laugh-out-loud moments are more cringeworthy than classic. For example, when Eric finally sees how great his dad is and realises that he just wants to be just like him, he breaks out into a song that is so drawn out and with such incredibly cheesy lyrics that you laugh instead of feeling emotionally moved.

The soundtrack isn’t exactly great either. There’s some awesome tracks, but there’s also too many cheesy ballads that make the audience groan rather than tap their feet.

It’s not the worst film in the world and has many funny and heartwarming moments, with good, though tired, be-yourself and family-is-important messages.

However, it crumbles in the shadow of Happy Feet and there’s too much confusion and dead screen time to make me believe that the creators took this film seriously. **

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