Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sammy's Adventure: The Secret Passage | Review

And the award for most blatant use of Bruno Mars songs in a movie goes to this one.
So Sammy's Adventure is this little known animated Belgian film that is making it's rounds through the international market hoping to fish for some foreign nominations I guess. It's practically Around The World In 80 Days set in the life of a sea turtle as it travels the oceans and meets different creatures as humans and global warming threaten to.... uhm... come to think of it, doesn't really threaten anything.
Don't believe the 3D hogs who are hounding this movie. I thought Sammy's Adventure looked fantastic in 3D. Sure they achieved the effect by very cheap means of having a fish or octopus swim to the screen but it was still effective. Certainly more believable to see something that is swimming in 3D than to have say..... a bribe taking demigod that's throwing a poorly animated coin in Clash of the Titans. I'm sure you'll forgive the shortcomings of the methods used in a kid's movie.
And for a non-Pixar, non-Hollywood studio film, the special effects and CGI of Sammy's Adventure were brilliant. The underwater scenes were just a visual opus of color and spectacle on par with Finding Nemo. There were a few scenes that were not as well animated than the rest and it did take me out of the story a little bit. But quite frankly there isn't much story to Sammy's Adventure to begin with.
The whole Secret Passage thing gets done in the first half of the movie to make way for a barrage of ecological, Green Peace PSA's that get communicated in the most blaring, cheap ways possible. Instead of actually winning over the audience's pathos with some heartbreaking scenes like.. I don't know.. have Sammy's friend die by being chocked by plastic or some Bambi shit, the filmmaker literally has these animated characters look to the screen in 3D and go, "It's up to you humans to ensure we don't go extinct." Uh... yeah. Die.
Wonderful visuals and 3D at the side, there really isn't much else to recommend about Sammy's Adventure. I felt that the green messages they were presenting in the film was the whole driving force of the movie instead of having some likable characters subconsciously drilling those messages in by having a good story with a lot of obstacles. It's the very basic of children movies. Hey, if a movie about dancing penguins can achieve that without sounding all too forceful on the green message, I was disappointed that Sammy's Adventure couldn't produce that same effect.
Sammy's Adventure may be a visually stunning happy affair, but it is unable to invoke the emotions necessary to make it anything other than an adequate Sunday child time waster.

RATING: 3/10

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