Early Man

2018

Adventure / Animation / Comedy / Family / Fantasy

69
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 81%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 55%
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 8375

Synopsis


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756.21 MB
1280*682
English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 29 min
P/S 99 / 512
1.42 GB
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English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 29 min
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726.76 MB
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English
PG
29.97 fps
1hr 29 min
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1.36 GB
1920*1040
English
PG
29.97 fps
1hr 29 min
P/S 34 / 408

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ryanjmorris 4 / 10

Early Man is Aardman Animation's first major disappointment

There's something overwhelmingly sad about a great production company releasing a disappointing film, especially when said film has a genius core concept and a terrific cast. It's as if the stars align only to lead you down a false sense of hope - indeed, disappointing films are a lot worse than ones where you never had much hope to begin with. Early Man, the latest feature by the renowned Aardman Animation, comes coupled with that very same crushing disappointment. It isn't even just that this isn't to the same brilliant standard as their other work, I'd go as far as saying it's Aardman's first genuinely poor film.

We find ourselves in the Stone Age (in Manchester, we're told by a title card in one of the film's few funny moments) where a small tribe of cavemen including Dug (Eddie Redmayne) live peacefully if mundanely in a small valley. Suddenly, their valley is taken over by Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston), the leader of a Bronze Age city where a giant football stadium is built. After some bartering and pleading, Nooth proposes that he will relocate his city and leave Dug's tribe in peace if they can beat his champion team in a football match. Inspired by the cavemen's history of football, Dug accepts the offer and, with the help of Bronze City townsperson Goona (Maisie Williams), attempts to train up his tribe to win the match.

It's a brilliant set up, as wacky as it is irresistible, but Mark Burton and James Higginson's script never really mines it for its full potential. Slapstick comedy rolls in fast but the film lacks the energetic pace of say The Shaun the Sheep Movie to make this style of humour work - most of it lands awkwardly and without any real punchline. Besides a late saving grace in the form of two football commentators (whose dialogue is brilliantly inspired and endlessly funny) the film's script lacks any wit or spark, seemingly carried away by the bizarreness of its premise and assuming its work is already done. There's the odd clever visual gag here and there but Early Man is a frustratingly laughless experience, making you long for the more comedic nature of Aardman's Chicken Run or Flushed Away.

As well as lacking humour, Early Man's characters barely leap off the screen either. While Dug himself is likeable enough - mostly due to Redmayne's infectious voice performance and the film's quirky character design - there's never a sense that we're watching anyone particularly memorable. Granted, not every film Aardman release needs to serve up a roster of unforgettable characters, but Early Man comes with the impression that it isn't really trying. Keeping Dug's relationship with Goona purely platonic is smart, but even then their friendship doesn't exactly glow. Character motivations range between weak and predictable, and whenever the film has a moment of celebration or emotion it's very rarely felt. Everything just comes across a little bit under done and a little bit lazy.

While there's something to be said for a film that rolls with its simplicity and doesn't long to be anything more, Early Man takes this spirit too far. Almost everything here is cheap and easy, resulting in a film that never capitalises on its various ideas and ultimately collapses before it crosses the finish line - and the film barely crosses the 90 minute mark. I saw Early Man in a crowded cinema, filled with families and groups of all ages, and it wasn't tough to notice the lack of enthusiasm about what we'd all just seen once the lights came back on. Aardman's lightheartedness and stop motion animation may always keep kids entertained, but this could be their first film that loses the love from anyone above the age of ten. Early Man has the makings of a Premier League team, but it lands more like Second Division.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 8 / 10

Sending up the Stone Age and football

Although not the biggest fan of football, that it's from Aardman (responsible for gems like 'Wallace and Gromit', 'Creature Comforts', 'Chicken Run' and 'Shaun the Sheep', have not seen anything bad from them actually), being a family film/animation fan and that it had so many talented actors in the voice cast was enough to convince me to see 'Early Man'.

Seeing it, 'Early Man' is not one of Aardman's best and it doesn't see them at the top of their game. Then again, with a studio as consistently very good to great as Aardman, that is not a standard that can be reached constantly. It is nonetheless a very worthy effort from them and as a family film, and a film in general, 'Early Man' to me was immensely enjoyable. There is a lot of talent on board and the film doesn't waste it.

'Early Man' does lose a little of its lustre, in pace and material, towards the end, the one part where the story's predictability is most obvious (up to this point the gags, inventive visuals and puns made things feel fresh) and less overlook-able. The easily foreseeable conclusion is also a little too pat.

Otherwise, as clich├ęd as it sounds, could find little else to fault 'Early Man'. Visually, the film is a delight. It is rich in colour and detail, the characters are adorable and cleverly modelled and there is some nice visual invention here, like the cave paintings. One is genuinely immersed in this colourful Stone Age world. The music score is suitably energetic and really gives the film its momentum and adds to it.

As to be hoped, 'Early Man' really entertains...hugely, both in sending up the Stone Age and football. Despite how mismatched it sounds having Stone Age inhabitants having their version of football, the combination actually goes very well. Any film that helps me appreciate football better, like 'Early Man' did, is worthy of any kind of credit.

The gags come thick and fast, there's plenty of them and they are subtle, clever and often hilarious, in typical Aardman fashion. Love their versions of technology, like the beetle electric shaver and the crocodile clothes pegs. There are some inspired puns and wordplay, like the duo of football pundits, primordial soup and the name Goona. 'Early Man' makes a lot of effort appealing to kids and adults alike and succeeds in doing that.

Kids will be thoroughly absorbed in the action and the inventive ideas and technology while adults will love, or at least appreciate, the puns (which they are actually more likely to get) and there is even a Mud reference to get nostalgic over. The pacing is spirited and tight throughout, and while the story is not much new and loses steam towards the end the energy and that it never goes wayward are to be applauded.

Characters are uniformly engaging, from the likeable protagonist, hilarious supporting characters to the camp villains. The voice cast are a talented bunch and they are all terrific, even those who raises some initial surprise in their involvement (i.e. Eddie Redmayne and Maisie Williams) do a great job, while Timothy Spall, Mark Williams and Tom Hiddleston (experienced in villain roles and not unfamiliar to voice work, both of them obvious) are standouts.

In summary, immensely enjoyable family fare for something for all ages. 8/10 Bethany Cox

Reviewed by domtaylor 7 / 10

Although it's far from Aardman's best, 'Early Man' is still a wonderfully entertaining family film that will appeal to all ages.

Although it isn't Aardman at the top of their game, 'Early Man' is still a fantastically entertaining film with excellent stop-motion animation and a satisfyingly energetic cast. Their newest film from Oscar winning director Nick Park tells the story of a prehistoric tribe that have to work together in order to save their home from the impending doom of the Bronze Age. Aardman once again uses expert sight gags and word play to generate multiple laughs from the audience and, although the jokes don't always land, they are all genuinely clever and you can't help but appreciate the thought that has gone into them all. The film is however let down slightly by its somewhat generic and predictable story, but the fast pace and constant humour doesn't make this into a huge problem.

Overall 'Early Man' is a very well crafted, extremely entertaining family film that will appeal to all ages, which includes an excellent voice cast who are clearly having just as much fun as we are. 7/10.

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