Movie review: Missing Link

Review by Dustin Heller

Missing Link is the latest stop-motion animated film from the same studio that brought us Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and Kubo and the Two Strings.  The film was written and directed by Chris Butler, who also wore both hats for ParaNorman.  The impressive cast includes voice work from Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry and Zach Galifianakis.  Missing Link is rated PG for action/peril and some mild rude humor.

The story follows Sir Lionel Frost, a myth and monster hunter who’s always looking for the next great adventure.  He wants nothing more than to be respected and acknowledged by his peers.  In order to prove his worth, he sets off to America to find the “missing link” aka Bigfoot.  His journey quickly brings him face to face with the beast–only for him to discover that the Sasquatch is actually well refined and lonely.  Frost agrees to help Mr. Link (Bigfoot) find the home of his cold-weather cousin, the Yeti, in return for proof of his existence.  Their new quest takes them to the hidden land of Shangri-La, where things don’t turn out exactly as planned.

I apologize in advance for the bad pun, but there was definitely something “missing” with Missing Link.–the glaring omission of comedy. The biggest measure for any children’s movie in my opinion is how many times I hear laughter from the kids.  There were a few chuckles, but they were few and far between and not very resounding.  The stop-motion animation was excellent and the concept was really quite intriguing; the execution left a lot to be desired.

A lot of the movie felt like a stuffy British film that was way too talky.  When it comes to kids, the action needs to be fast paced because too much dialog leads to boredom.  Even as an adult, I was pretty bored even though most of the comedy is tailored toward adults instead of kids. Too many long conversations led to serious pacing issues.  Missing Link is not a terrible movie by any means, it’s just not one that needs to be seen on the big screen.

Grade: C-

Missing Link opens in theaters on Friday, April 12

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