April 25, 2012 by Vinnie Leduc
Bland, ho! This Band of Misfits must’ve made a stop in the Caribbean because I have a new candidate for the most disappointing film of the year, and I’m a sucker for animated flicks. While Aardman Animations’ previous movie (Arthur Christmas) wasn’t in the lovable stop-motion format that put them on the map, I’ve enjoyed their entire track record of films, including Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and Flushed Away. That is, until now. Despite being composed of the same ingredients that made its predecessors successful, Aardman’s maiden voyage into 3D, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, came off as just that… misfit.
It looks great though. I can only imagine how many man hours went into the production, and I appreciate the plethora of little details they’ve stuffed into the family flick. You can tell that they tried really hard to accommodate audiences of all ages, which is a huge plus that Pixar has mastered. Going into Band of Misfits, everything seemed to be on course for smooth sailing.
However, its supersaturation of joke after joke after joke is a good example of quality sunken by quantity. The Pirates! fires off a boatload of gags, some of which are indeed clever, but not many of them are hits. It’s like Kobe Bryant’s bulk shooting this season. A couple of amazing highlights, but at what expense to the team when they’re among a couple dozen bricks? Here’s another sports metaphor for ya. The modernized humor comes at you at a rate similar to that of Mirror Mirror: Swing and a miss. Swing and a miss. Swing and a miss. Infield single. Swing and a miss.
The cool boss battle near the end is too little too late, but I have a feeling the best gags of the movie are buried in the background and require the sharpest eyes to catch them until pausing and zooming are available on video (by the way, make sure you stay during the credits because it seems like some of these jokes reappear here). I literally laughed more in Safe than in Band of Misfits. I liked its history, I thought I’d like the movie, I really wanted to like it, but I suppose as in the case of The Cabin in the Woods, I’m part of the small minority who just didn’t. The Pirates! Band of Misfits gets 2 out of 5 stars or C or Okay.