Movie reviews: Missing Link, Unicorn Store
MISSING LINK (PG)
This Laika-produced stop-motion animated adventure follows the journey of Mr Link (voiced by Zach Galifianakis), a Bigfoot tired of his solitary life in the Pacific Northwest who recruits fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) to unite him with his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La.
There is a distinct beauty and elegance unique to this genre, where the characters and terrain move and transition in a refreshing style.
Link's vibrant facade aside, it lacks a sense of urgency and its characters seem a tad flat.
But the spirited voice performances of Jackman and Zoe Saldana (as free-spirited adventurer Adelina Fortnight) more than compensate.
This charming family film is also a lesson in friendship, empathy and identity. And on a deeper level, a witty and deft dismantling of British colonialism. - JASMINE LIM
UNICORN STORE (PG13)
Brie Larson trades in her superhero suit for a director's hat for her debut behind the camera, although you need to be in the right mood for this talky comedy, which is streaming on Netflix.
It revolves around Kit (Larson), a 20-something who isn't quite ready to give up her Care Bears, ribbons and glitter.
After getting kicked out of art school, she tries to do grown-up stuff like joining the corporate world.
But when she chances upon the mysterious Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) who promises to sell her a unicorn, the set-up gets a little too whimsical and abstract for its own good.
Jackson as the tinsel-adorned, pink-suited Salesman is a piece of work, and the same can be said for Larson.
Unicorn Store was made after the duo's first outing, 2017's Kong: Skull Island and before their recent blockbuster hit Captain Marvel.
Without their chummy chemistry, this colourful film about embracing one's inner child would've been a total drag. - JOANNE SOH