Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Onward (2020)

There was a time, not long ago, that we had analog clocks.  You had to look at a round surface and do math based on two pointy things to figure out what time it was.  Now, we have digital clocks.  You just read the numbers and know what time it is.  It’s much easier.  There are those among us that would prefer not to do away with the analog clocks, though.  (I believe the technical term is Luddite.  Here’s your sundial.  Now go away.)

Ian and Barley Lightfoot are elves who live in a world once ruled by magic.  Magic was difficult to use and was limited to a select few.  When easier alternatives came along, magic slowly faded away.  Candles were easier and more accessible than lighting spells, for instance.  So, why pay someone else to try something that’s less reliable?

On Ian’s 16th birthday, he gets a gift from his deceased father.  Wilden Lightfoot left a magical staff and gem for his sons when they got old enough.  Wilden knew that he was dying, so he wrote a spell so that he might see how his sons turned out.

Barley tries to cast the spell with no luck whatsoever.  When Ian tries, the magic happens.  In all the excitement, something happens and the spell only works halfway.  The brothers get their father from the waist down.  This leads to the brothers sharing an epic adventure in the hopes of finding a replacement gem.

Some of the movie comes across as cliché.  The brothers are polar opposites, with Barley being outgoing and boisterous and Ian being more quiet and reserved.  (Barley wants to play his historically accurate RPG while Ian just wants to eat his breakfast in peace.)

Their overprotective mother has a new boyfriend that neither one really likes.  Oh, and he’s a centaur police officer named Colt Bronco.  So, yeah.  It does go for a few corny jokes.

It’s enjoyable, even if it is somewhat formulaic.  It’s the kind of thing you could watch with your family now that everyone has to quarantine themselves, except that this was just released in theaters.  (There’s talk of making movies immediately available for streaming or download, but you might have to pay a premium for it.)

Speaking of COVID-19, this is probably going to be the last movie I see in theaters for a while.  It’s not the worst title to use a sendoff, but I had a few that I was looking forward to seeing.  AMC has shut down theaters, but it looks like they’ll pause A-List for the time being.  It looks like I may be reviewing a lot of Star Trek and B movies for a while.


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