India  

MOVIE REVIEW: Onward

One News Page Staff Tuesday, 12 May 2020
MOVIE REVIEW: Onwardby 👨‍💻 Graham Pierrepoint

ONWARD

IMDb

Dir: Dan Scanlon

Starring Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer

starstarstarstarstar    3.5 STARS (out of 5)

Marvel alumni seem to be spreading themselves far and wide at the moment, and Tom Holland and Chris Pratt (Spider-Man and Star Lord respectively) seem to be a couple of the MCU’s biggest stars who continue to secure plenty of work. For good reason, it seems! This time around the Endgame stars have secured themselves a slot on another Disney staple, a Pixar movie – and Onward is certainly one of the more interesting offerings from the label in recent years.

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, Onward is one of few Disney properties in recent years to be considered a box office bomb. Official stats at the time of writing suggest that it’s made $75 million short of its budget at the box office – hardly surprising, when you consider that no one is going to the cinema at the moment! However, Disney made the somewhat bold decision to port the movie over to its home Disney Plus service in the US and Canada earlier in March – a move similar to that of Universal and Dreamworks choosing to push Trolls World Tour to video on demand, too. As of now, Onward is available to buy at home in the UK, a mere two to three months after it was initially released in cinemas.

Onward - ReviewOnward (Pixar)

Onward is a strange movie, even by Pixar’s standards. Ian (Holland) and Barley (Pratt) are two elf brothers who live in a world that seems to be everyday suburbia twinged with fantasy lore. Both have grown up without a father due to his passing away many years ago, and alongside the fantastical elements of this movie, that provides the emotional core. In a world which is increasingly reliant on technology and less on the magic of old, Barley finds himself desperate to take on a quest of his own. When Ian finds that their father left them a spell to resurrect him for one day only on his 16th birthday, their lives get turned upside down – mainly because the spell doesn’t quite work – sending the brothers on an epic road trip.

At its core, Onward has a lot of heart. These are great characters, and it is fantastic to see a positive brotherly relationship in a modern movie – in a sense, it does avoid a lot of the negative stereotypes about brothers growing up together. Visually, it’s as appealing as Pixar’s standards usually are, particularly in the creative ways that characters are based on mythical creatures. Disney, as always, has a lot of fun with conceits like this, and much in the way that there are puns abound in 2016’s take on modern society in Zootopia, there are plenty of sight gags to take in here.

However, for a Pixar movie, Onward does seem to snag in a few areas. Unlike other pictures from the studio, while the concept and conceit are great, there’s very little in the way of build-up. We are thrown into the world of the story pretty sharpish, and while we do get to know these characters fairly well – thanks to a sensitive script and a great cast – there’s much of the movie left underwhelming. I’m drawing parallels again with Zootopia, in the sense that the concept is so broad, and the world of the story is so large, the movie barely knows what to focus on.

That’s why it seems strange, to me, that the movie focuses on the plot that it does – there’s an awful lot going on. The idea of a quest in a modern fantasy world is great – but throw in story world elements which need further development, and a handful of central storylines which seem to crash into one another, and you have a weirdly underwhelming experience.

Onward - Official Trailer (Pixar)

Unfortunately, like classic Pixar movies in Wall-E, Ratatouille, Toy Story and more recently Coco, Onward isn’t all that memorable. As usual, it has a ton of great gags and the visuals are creative – but for Pixar, this feels like a little bit of a low bar. I feel if the focus had been a little sharper, and there had been more focus on establishing this world than throwing in sub plot after sub plot, it might have been a little easier to digest.

That said, it’s a perfectly entertaining movie, and one worth investing in while lockdown measures continue. It has far more highs than lows, and it’s likely to appeal to anyone looking for a simple, fun family film with a few interesting messages behind it. Is it Pixar’s best? Probably not. The studio has made more of intriguing concepts before, and while Onward feels more like their take on a buddy comedy of sorts, we might have to wait for the studio to release Soul later in the year to see them getting back to high concepts.


12
shares
ShareTweetSavePostSend
 

💡 newsR Knowledge: Other News Mentions

The Walt Disney Company The Walt Disney Company American mass media corporation

Disney Sued Over 'Toy Story 4' Duke Caboom Resemblance to Evel Knievel

If the "Toy Story 4" character Duke Caboom reminded you of Evel Knievel, you're not alone -- the folks in charge of his image and likeness thought so too ... and..
TMZ.com
Walt Disney World plans on reopening one of its water parks spring 2021 [Video]

Walt Disney World plans on reopening one of its water parks spring 2021

Disney is planning on reopening one of its two water parks next year.

Credit: ABC Action News    Duration: 00:18Published
Tatiana Maslany lands coveted ‘She Hulk’ role [Video]

Tatiana Maslany lands coveted ‘She Hulk’ role

Marvel Studios looks like it’s found its found its latest leading lady, with Tatiana Maslany set to become She-Hulk in the Disney+ series.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:45Published

Tom Holland (actor) Tom Holland (actor) English actor

Tom Holland had doubts over The Devil All the Time role [Video]

Tom Holland had doubts over The Devil All the Time role

Tom Holland doubted he “had it in him” to pull off The Devil All the Time role.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:53Published
Movies to watch in September [Video]

Movies to watch in September

The live action remake of Mulan, a horror flick with Tom Holland a grittyMarvel movie are among several movies set to be released this September.

Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO    Duration: 02:18Published

Chris Pratt Chris Pratt American actor

Chris Pratt, Anna Faris Unload Hollywood Hills Pad for $4.75 Million

Chris Pratt and Anna Faris got divorced nearly 2 years ago but still co-owned the house they lived in as a married couple, until now ... 'cause the crib's..
TMZ.com
Tributes Pour In For Chadwick Boseman [Video]

Tributes Pour In For Chadwick Boseman

On Friday, actor Chadwick Boseman died of cancer. The tributes from Hollywood luminaries are pouring in. Lena Waithe "Gutted at the loss of you. We needed you now more than ever. I loved you, man. We all did. You will be missed." Sterling K. Brown "I don't have words. Rest In Peace, Bruh. Thank you for all you did while you were here. Thank you for being a friend. You are loved. You will be missed." Chris Pratt "My prayers go out to Chadwick's family and loved ones.

Credit: Wochit News    Duration: 00:47Published
Chris Pratt introduces daughter Lyla Maria to fans online [Video]

Chris Pratt introduces daughter Lyla Maria to fans online

Chris Pratt has shared that he is 'beyond thrilled' after welcoming a baby girl with his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:42Published
Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt welcome first child together [Video]

Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt welcome first child together

30-year-old Katherine's brother, Patrick Schwarzenegger, confirmed the news in a video on Sunday, in which he revealed: "They're doing great - just got her a little gift."

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:41Published

Marvel Cinematic Universe Marvel Cinematic Universe Shared fictional universe

Olivia Wilde is struggling to keep quiet about a new Marvel project [Video]

Olivia Wilde is struggling to keep quiet about a new Marvel project

It was reported last month that the director and actress had been tapped to helm a project in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:54Published
What Was Made Chadwick Boseman So Special [Video]

What Was Made Chadwick Boseman So Special

On Friday, Hollywood lost an icon in the making: Chadwick Boseman, age 43. CNN's Brian Lowry wrote a touching piece about the unique quality Boseman had that made him special. Lowry argues that Boseman had the ability to breathe life into legendary characters. His biggest role would be Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But Lowry argues it's Bosewick's portrayal of legendary historical figures that will elevate him to iconic status.

Credit: Wochit News    Duration: 00:47Published
'Black Panther' Star Chadwick Boseman Dies Age 43 [Video]

'Black Panther' Star Chadwick Boseman Dies Age 43

Chadwick Boseman has passed away from cancer at just 43 years old. AP says Boseman has died “after 4-year fight with colon cancer.” He never spoken publicly about this diagnosis. Boseman is well known in our realm for playing T’Challa the Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He also played Jackie Robinson in 42, along with roles in Draft Day, Gods of Egypt, Marshall, and more. Gizmodo reports that his family released a statement via his Instagram page.

Credit: Wochit News    Duration: 00:39Published

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Julia Louis-Dreyfus American actress, comedian, producer, and singer

Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus mocks Donald Trump [Video]

Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus mocks Donald Trump

Veep actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus starred at the Democrats’ convention as shetook aim at US President Donald Trump. Louis-Dreyfus was the celebrity hostfor the closing night of the convention as Joe Biden accepted the presidentialnomination.

Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO    Duration: 01:23Published

Disney+ Disney+ subscription video streaming service

Disney's Market Value Jumps $21-Billion [Video]

Disney's Market Value Jumps $21-Billion

Disney stock jumped as much as 10% on Wednesday. The increase added more than $21 billion to the entertainment giant's market capitalization. Investors celebrated the news that Disney Plus has attracted more than 60 million subscribers in its first nine months. Pandemic-related closures of theme parks, stores, and cinemas hammered its business, dropping its revenue 42% last quarter.

Credit: Wochit News    Duration: 00:31Published
The Phineas And Ferb Movie To Debut On Disney Plus In August [Video]

The Phineas And Ferb Movie To Debut On Disney Plus In August

Phineas and Ferb, the beloved Disney cartoon has been off the air for a solid five years now. Now the duo and all their sidekicks are returning to a TV screen near you. According to Gizmodo, Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe will soon make its debut on Disney Plus. The movie features stepbrothers Phineas and Ferb, on a quest to save their sister from aliens. The movie features an impressive voice cast, including Ashley Tisdale and Olivia Olson alongside Wayne Brady.

Credit: Wochit News    Duration: 00:32Published

Universal Pictures Universal Pictures Major U.S. film studio owned by Comcast

Jordan Peele, Issa Rae Team for Supernatural Feature, AMC & Universal Make Historic Deal & More News | THR News [Video]

Jordan Peele, Issa Rae Team for Supernatural Feature, AMC & Universal Make Historic Deal & More News | THR News

The first look at Sarah Paulson in the new Netflix drama 'Ratched' is here, AMC Theatres has struck a historic agreement with Universal Pictures and Jordan Peele and Issa Rae are teaming up for a new supernatural feature for Universal.

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter    Duration: 01:51Published
AMC Theatres, Universal Pictures Forge Historic Deal Allowing Theatrical Releases to Debut on Premium VOD | THR News [Video]

AMC Theatres, Universal Pictures Forge Historic Deal Allowing Theatrical Releases to Debut on Premium VOD | THR News

Wall Street analysts on Wednesday weighed in on AMC Theatres' historic agreement with Universal Pictures that will allow the studio's movies to be made available on premium video-on-demand after just 17 days of play in cinemas.

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter    Duration: 01:27Published

You Might Like


Tweets about this

•More original news reports from newsR