10 August 2019 | Wizard-8
Keep this gate closed
It's pretty obvious that the makers of this French-Chinese co-production were really trying hard to make this movie appealing to major Hollywood studios, what with most of the dialogue being in English, the casting of David Bautista in a key role, and the hero being an American youth. However, no Hollywood studio was apparently willing to release the end results to American theaters, and it's pretty clear why. Quite often the enterprise doesn't have the "oomph" of a major Hollywood studio production; it's not seriously cheap-looking, but all the same it's missing something many times. I could have overlooked that fact had the movie compensated in other areas, but the movie falls short in some key areas. The whole "American kid transported to a fantasy land" angle has already been done to death, and this telling doesn't really have many new ideas to add some freshness. It's more humorous this time around, though quite frankly I found most of the humor to be juvenile and embarrassing. The main problem with the movie, however, is that its storytelling style is often not very clear. The script seems to be missing key explanations in several areas, and also the direction/editing in other places makes it hard to follow what is happening. Kids may be more forgiving towards this movie than their parents, but why subject them (and yourself) to this movie when there are plenty of superior family movies that will entertain both kids and adults?