3 August 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
Very rarely has "howling fun" been more ironic
Made the decision, despite not caring much at all for the first 'Alpha and Omega', to see its follow-ups (yes there is a franchise) out of curiosity and as an enormous fan of animation, would see anything regardless of critical reception.
The previous three sequels were dreadful for exactly the same reasons, all of which repeated here in this just as dreadful instalment. Love animation, always judge a film for what they set out to do and for what they are taking into account the target audience. It is just hard not to be hard on the 'Alpha and Omega' follow ups because they insult the intelligence of children and adults alike in what is intended to be a family film where children and adults can judge and are of such poor quality.
Very like as was said in the review summary, "howling fun" has rarely been more ironic. This family holiday vacation, which from personal experience are lots of fun and really special, is a long way from entertaining and has no charm whatsoever. It promises action, funny moments and tender moments and fails at all three.
Let's start with the animation. The animation wasn't the best in the first film but it had its decent moments. It however is 'Toy Story' compared to the animation quality here, which is not quite Video Brinquedo, Spark Plug Entertainment or 'Foodfight' bad but almost and on the same level as 'The Swan Princess' CGI films. Blocky character designs, almost creepy expressions, very flat colours, a complete lack of fluidity in movement, endless goofs as long as your arm and less than meticulously detailed backgrounds are reminiscent of computer animation and video games in their infancy, something that one does not expect at all for 2015 even for low budget when technology has advanced as much as it has.
Can say no better for the music either. None of it fits with what's going on, stylistically it feels out of place and out of kilter, it's obtrusive and it's not even good music on its own. The writing is even worse, summing up in one word it's abominable. half-baked ideas and any parts that strive to be funny or poignant instead come across as eye-rollingly cheesy or cloying.
Worse are the "funny" jokes and dialogue, which are not funny at all, one groans at some of the wordplay/puns and older audiences who are children at heart whenever seeing animation (like me, one is never too old to appreciate animation and it is not strictly oriented towards kids only) will question the appropriateness of some of it.
Story-wise, there is not much of one at all. That it's short may be a comfort for the main target audience and older viewers, but that's saying nothing. It is short but feels longer thanks to plodding pacing and thin plotting. Oh, and 'Family Vacation' is relatively light on action and what there is is very repetitious and gets dull and grating fast. Nothing enthrals and it can feel very padded.
The characters are never engaging, they are either bland or irritating and some of them are completely pointless.
Voice acting is weak all round, the first 'Alpha and Omega' at least had Hayden Panettiere giving a pretty good account of herself and Dennis Hopper. There is nobody of that calibre here, some overdo it and some act as if they weren't even trying.
Overall, the very poor quality of the franchise continues. 1/10 Bethany Cox