Missing Link review
Cinema is full of explorers. Some like Luke Skywalker, are innocent, optimistic, and believe in the greater good by dwelling into the darkest of places. Others, like Jack Sparrow, are scoundrels, who are searching for redemption, even as temptation trying to steer them away. In the case of this movie's main character, we have a guy whose both happy to have furthered science, but is a bit of an egomaniac whose overconfident that everyone will understand his point of view. Again, HIS point of view. There's a moment when he goes to a group of scientists, he seems to forget that he's not well liked. Can you really blame him for his excitement?
You can already tell that the main human character is anther outsider, which is a common theme with the production company, Laika. These people also produced wonderful movies like Coraline,ParaNorman, and Kubo and the Two Strings. Each movie had outsiders trying to escape their dilemmas and find common ground. The only difference is while those movies had darker subjects and environments, today's movie is a lot lighter in tone. It's not to say it isn’t dark or deep, but it's something that even the littlest of children in the family can watch. Let's see how Missing Link fares.
Sir Lionel Frost (played by Hugh Jackman) is an investigator of odd creatures and returns home after a failed attempt to capture or get a picture of the Loch Ness monster. It doesn’t help that his assistant quits when he's put into danger too often. Though he's worked hard, Frost simply wants to join the distinguished group of scientists called "The Great Men" who see him as a threat to their traditional ways. He thinks he has his answer through a letter that claims the existence of a Sasquatch or a "Bigfoot".
He travels to the Pacific Northwest to find that the Sasquatch (played by Zach Galifianakis) not only wrote the letter himself, but he also speaks English, reads, writes, and simply wants to live in peace. Frost gives him the name "Mr. Link" and wants to learn more about him. It turns out that Mr. Link needed Frost to take him to the Himalayas to meet up with his yeti cousins. Frost agrees and the two head off on their journey. Along the way, the come across Frost's former girlfriend Adelina (played by Zoe Saldana), a hunter Willard (played by Timothy Olyphant) and the head of the Great Men, Lord Piggot-Dunceby (played by Stephen Fry).
So far, I haven't seen a bad movie from Laika. Missing Link continues this trend as a good movie. Good but not great. It's shown from this that the company can get away from the gothic and spooky and still get across a nice movie. The keyword here is nice. Missing Link certainly feels like the most laidback and relaxed of the bunch. There is a plot, story, and character development, but this goes at a slower pace, especially when compared with something from Disney or Illumination.
I'd love to know how casting is selected, as everyone here seems tailor-made for these parts. Hugh Jackman does good as the good-hearted but selfish explorer. Zoe Saldana, Stephen Fry and everyone else do well. The performance from Zach Galifianakis is not what you'd expect. When I hear that name, I expected something very silly and goofy. But rather then toilet humor, you have a guy whose more of a naive tourist who read up on culture, but doesn't understand it once he's a part of it. It's a fish-out-of-water kind of comedy, but it's a lot lighter then you'd expect.
I'd say things don't start to get heavy until they get to the Himalayas in the third act (as it should). With this kind of story, I had my conclusions on how things were going to go, and yet…didn't. I will not spoil it, but it makes a good case for both Mr. Link and Frost and the decisions they make that show their understanding on how everyone else views them. It's that kind of thing that should help separate it from other bigfoot media like Smallfoot (which I'm guessing the timing of their productions was coincidental). I certainly liked this more then Smallfoot.
I'll give this four bigfoots out of five. This may not be their best movie, but Missing Link is still a good sit, especially if you have kids who want something they don't need to pay attention to. There isn't much for the adults on their own, which is why I recommend this to either families or fans of animation. If your in that camp, then come and discover this.