Thoughts: Early Man narrowly misses the goal


Aardman Animation has given us some stone-cold classics, including the Wallace and Gromit films and 2000's Chicken Run. Lately, however, their films have felt stagnant and predictable. Early Man is no exception, even though it has moments of charm.

Early Man is an ode to the sport of soccer through the eyes (and feet) of a rag-tag bunch of stone-age cavemen. Our protagonists have lost their home to a crew of people who discovered bronze, and after some lengthy back and forth, decide to face each other in a soccer match to get their land back. It takes about 30 minutes for the plot to find its footing (get it?), and by the time it finally does, you may not care enough to stick around.

While the story fails to impress, there is enough of that Aardman charm to win back some of its audience. There are genuinely fun characters, silly puns, and sight gags to satiate the Wallace crowd. It's unfortunate that all of this takes place in a movie that feels so rote; maybe in an alternate universe these characters would have something interesting to do.

- Matt