You know how your granny complains that they never make nice films any more, that the whole family can sit down and watch? This was clearly designed by your granny, as something nice and old fashioned; the trouble is, I think the old bird's getting a bit senile.
It goes like this: Jack lives in fairyland, where everything is a fairy story, and he wants to be a hero. But in order to do so, he has to go on a quest and learn about things like Sacrifice and Perseverance and I'm sorry I just can't go on. I just can't.
It's not the clichéd plot that kills this movie. It's not even the hideous, explosion-in-a-cuteness-factory design of the sets. It's the acting, and the characters. They're just AWFUL. Jack himself is the kind of precocious brat who needs a good whack upside the head, but he's nothing compared to poor Christopher Lloyd, who is forced to explain every joke very slowly, over and over, as though he's speaking to an audience that's suffering from major brain damage. Lloyd is better than the frantically mugging Wallace Shawn, who plays multiple roles, all of them dreadful. Even that shameful performance is far, far better than Gilbert Gottfried, who is just insufferable as a human chicken. Did no one look at that character? Did no one think that maybe, just maybe, a movie with that horrible, screeching nincompoop at the centre of it might be a bad idea? The only cast member who comes out of this mess with any dignity intact is Chloe Moretz, who filmed this just before she went on to fame in Kick-Ass. I think it's safe to say she won't be putting this movie in her show reel, though.
This is an old-fashioned family film, in all the wrong ways. It's far too twee and cloying for adults, and much too cutesy for kids who have been brought up on the harder edges of Pixar or Disney movies. There's never any sense of even slight danger, so that it's impossible for adults or kids to get involved in the film. I wouldn't recommend letting your kids see Kick-Ass, but there are a thousand better movies for them than this.