Thursday, May 02, 2019

Missing Link (2019)

Humans are a social species.  Part of that means wanting to belong.  You want to have friends.  You want to get married.  You want a job where people accept you and value your work.  This is totally understandable.  This is all Sir Lionel Frost really wants.

Frost is essentially a Cryptozoologist.  He wants to find and prove the existence of mythological creatures.  The movie starts with him trying to photograph the Loch Ness Monster.  Why?  So that he might get into a society of great men.  The current membership, led by Lord Piggot-Dunceby, doesn’t much care for him.

Frost’s latest adventure begins when he gets a letter from someone claiming to be able to lead him to a Sasquatch.  Thus, Piggot-Dunceby makes a wager with Frost that if Frost can find said Sasquatch and return with evidence, Frost will be admitted to the society.

Frost discovers that the letter was sent by an actual Sasquatch, whom he dubs Mr. Link.  Mr. Link sent the letter to Frost in the hopes that Frost might bring him to the land of the Yeti.  You see, Mr. Link has similar desires.  He’s the last of his kind and simply wants to live out his days among his distant cousins.  So, it’s agreed:  Frost will take Link to the Yetis.

Frost has to get a map from an old flame, Adelina Fortnight.  Fortnight reluctantly agrees only if she is allowed to come with them.  To boot, Piggot-Dunceby has hired a hit man to kill Frost, knowing that Frost will never quit.  Oh, and it turns out that the Yetis aren’t too keen on outsiders, even if they’re Sasquatch.  So, there’s that.

The movie was enjoyable, although I think it was aimed at younger audiences.  It’s a solid PG movie, having a few scary moments and some gunplay.  When I was in the theater, there weren’t any scenes I would have worried about if I had a young child with me.

The character development is about what you’d expect for such a movie.  Frost comes across as a bit selfish.  He’s a bit bossy and inconsiderate.  He even missed his best friend’s funeral.  He can’t see past what he wants.  Even when he considers Link’s request, it’s in terms of what Frost wants.

As for Link, he’s more naïve.  When Frost prompts him to pick his own name, Link chooses Susan, leading to a few gender-related jokes.  (Fortunately, the movie doesn’t overdo it.)  Many of the jokes involving Link are based on him not understanding English that well.  (Link taught himself.)

This isn’t going to be for everyone.  It’s not one I’d prod my parents into seeing.  It’s the kind of movie I might watch again if it’s on TV.  (I say might, only because I could see it airing on a kids’ channel.  I don‘t know if I want to sit through those commercials.)  It’s also stop motion, which makes for less natural transitions at times.  I do think it’s interesting to consider the amount of effort put into making stop motion.  (There’s a mid-credits scene that offers some insight into this.)

There’s also a level of predictability.  Both Link and Frost want to belong to a group that doesn’t want them.  Both must find that happiness and peace come from within rather than from acceptance.  I could definitely see a sequel happening wherein Link finds another of his kind.  I’m sure I’ll even get around to watching it.

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