Review – Missing Link (2019)

Some of you know that a few years ago, my brothers and I used to make our own movies . It’s what we were known for by our friends – The Gilleand Brothers. One of the last series that we worked on was Buck & Drake: The Search for Spooks and Buck & Drake: Buck to the Future – which was essentially a series all about the other-worldly wonders found in tall tales, conspiracy theories, and the like. There were two movies we were never able to make, and one of them was Buck & Drake: The Phantom Sasquatch. I had discovered a growing directory of so-called Bigfoot sightings all over the world, including a few in my own small town and figured a movie on it would’ve been great. I don’t consider myself a Bigfoot enthusiast, but I do think the entire world surrounding Bigfoot is fun and keeps a certain feeling of magic alive in the real world when sought after. That being said, Missing Link isn’t exactly a movie about wonder, but it is about Bigfoot.

Meet Mr. Link: 8 feet tall, 630 lbs, and covered in fur, but don’t let his appearance fool you… he is funny, sweet, and adorably literal, making him the world’s most lovable legend. Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link recruits fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, our fearless trio of explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril as they travel to the far reaches of the world to help their new friend. Through it all, the three learn that sometimes you can find a family in the places you least expect.

LAIKA/Annapurna Pictures

I’m always wary whenever I run into a movie featuring claymation, stop-motion, or the like, because in a word, it’s weird-looking. I know that a lot of creativity is found at the heart, though, because it takes a lot of work creating a world of imagination like this. How do you mold together characters from scratch that’ll be remembered far after the movie is over? I couldn’t even begin to imagine the level of hard work that had to be put into perfecting these characters or the world at large, and that deserves a ton of praise, no matter how good or bad the movie is, and you know what? Missing Link goes beyond that. Even from the first shot, there was dedication in how the camera interacted with the unfolding events, as well as a very specific color palette that stuck out in a good way. It shouldn’t surprise me, but things going on behind-the-scenes constantly impressed me.

I also liked the character of Lionel Frost, played by Hugh Jackman, who is playing a sort of Indiana Jones/Sherlock Holmes character that is always trying to investigate the wildest claims that exist. His role in the film, as well as the plot itself, was very, very reminiscent of Phileas Fogg from Around the World in 80 Days. To give you a quick example, he’s going on this expedition to prove a point and to win a seat in a prestigious group, the group allows him to go because they think he’s a joke and they’ll never see him again, and when they learn he may be on to something, they send a hit man to stop him from coming back and finishing his task. It’s the SAME story. The character’s task is different, but it still follows the same basic structure. I’m not mad, though. It may not be all that original, but I love Around the World in 80 Days, and to see the same story be revisited in a different way was a lot of fun.

This film, of course, has story depth, but it really is more of a kids movie than it was a family film. What I mean by that is it appeals much more to a younger generation, and parents won’t care too much for it. Personally, I thought a couple scenes here and there were funny, which I had a good time with, but I fully understand where I’d be the only one that experienced that, too. I think the best kids movies work well for the whole family for a variety of reasons, not just the little ones. There’s nothing more annoying for a parent than a kid that loves a movie that annoys the parent because we all know the movie will be put on repeat from day to night. This mostly affects the entertainment potential, but honestly…that’s really the only major negative element I have to say about it. Everything else was either pretty decent or typical from what you’d expect at worst.

Here’s the thing, if you have kids, go ahead and watch it. I think kids will have a great time with it and you may even have fun in certain areas, as well. If you aren’t a parent, this movie will be an easy skip, as it’s not exactly a game-changer or anything a kid would even remember for the rest of their lives. It’s just a good time in general. I think that was the point all along, so I think it’s fine.

TOTAL SCORE – 73%

Current 2019 Rankings:
Overall: 15th Place out of 54 Movies
(In a tie with Glass)
Animation: 4th Place out of 6 Movies
Comedy: 6th Place out of 21 Movies
Adventure: 9th Place out of 16 Movies
Family: 4th Place out of 7 Movies

Other Animated Films Rated 73%:
The Croods
Space Jam



2019 DNA ANALYSIS

The following films are closely-related to this film when it comes to the bare bones – how the movie was technically made on a cinematic level. This is based off on how categories and subcategories are scored exactly the same.

The Weird Sibling
(Closest-resemblance by both category and subcategory with identical scoring)
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is the only other 2019 movie to score exactly the same in all subcategories for any given category. In this instance, it scored the same in every subcategory of the BTS and NARRATIVE ARC categories, which makes up 1/3 of the DNA score. It also coincidentally is an animated kids film.

The Immediate Family
(Closest resemblance in only scoring the same in the category total, but the subcategories can be scored differently; minimum of 3 matching category scores; must be the same genre)

N/A

The Distant Cousins
(Same rules as immediate family, but it can be any genre)

N/A

Specs:
PEOPLE SCORE (13/20)
Acting (2/4) | Characters (3/4) | Casting (3/4) | Importance (3/4) | Chemistry (2/4)
WRITING SCORE (8/10)
Dialogue (1/2) | Balance (2/2) | Story Depth (2/2) | Originality (1/2) | Interesting (2/2)
BEHIND-THE-SCENES SCORE (9/10)
Visuals (2/2) | Cinematography (2/2) | Editing (2/2) | Advertising (2/2) | Music & Sound (1/2)
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE (10/10)
Introduction (2/2) | Inciting Incident (2/2) | Obstacles (2/2) | Climax (2/2) | Falling Action (2/2)
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE (3/10)
Rewatchability (0/2) | Fun Experience (2/2) | Impulse to Buy or Own (0/2) | Impulse to Talk About or Recommend (0/2) | Engaging & Riveting (1/2)
SPECIALTY SCORE (30/40)
Bigfoot (5/10) | Animation (10/10) | Comedy (5/10) | Halfway Decent (10/10)



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