The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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All Critics (26)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (20)
| Rotten (6)
Band of Robbers doesn't quite spin its imaginative conceit into comic gold, but it offers some minor pleasures along the way.
This clever updating of Mark Twain finds Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer involved in a comic caper.
In addition to Twain, the directors clearly worship the Coens, specifically "Raising Arizona." And that's OK.
I think it's a bad idea that's badly done in at least two ways, maybe three, but however many there are they're all fatal.
The filmmakers have described "Band of Robbers" as fan fiction, and that feels about right: They don't quite hit the mark, but it's fun to watch them trying.
This comic take on "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" is infused with a gleefully absurdist sense of humor while retaining a childlike sense of wonder.
One minute it's a breezy comedy sailing along with laughter, and then before you know it you're fearing for the lives of characters without an effective tonal shift
Forget the plot, forget the moral lessons, the acting is reason enough to see Band of Robbers.
Don't be surprised to hear more from the Nee brothers in the future, especially if Adam Nee continues his fine work in front of the camera as well. They clearly are a talented duo.
Sharp, funny, big-hearted, and absolutely true to the spirit of the author in question.
Capturing the heart of the novel and injecting a quirky, introspective sensibility, here is an example of filmmaking at its most inspired.
The quirky premise generates some amusing moments, yet the uneven script can't sustain its early momentum.
Band of Robbers will surely end up being one of 2016's sleeper hits. The filmmakers referred to the film more as fan fiction and it might not actually live up to the standard set by Mark Twain's stories, but it certainly is fun to see them try to tell a modernized story of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. I don't think the film is as consistently funny as, say, a movie like Spy. The funniest stuff comes during the pawn shop scene, where Hannibal Burress just shines. I wish he, honestly, would've played a bigger role in the film, because this guy is hilarious. Anyway, the point is that the movie isn't consistently funny, but I don't think that's as much of a problem since the film does feature some adventure elements that are, realistically, even better than the more comedic aspects of the film. It's obvious that this film isn't meant to compare to some of the classic like Raiders of the Lost Ark, but I did like it's more 'down home' approach to the adventure formula. I like the character progression of seeing how Huck Finn, growing up a career criminal, wanting to settle down and go straight and trying to see if he can start a family, being drawn in to another criminal venture thanks to Tom's persuasive ways. Tom is a man who, clearly, is still someone who's holding on to his youth. He's in a state of arrested development, where he still thinks that getting away with things will be as easy as it was when he was a child. Tom is, clearly, a selfish character and I think that's at the core of the film's narrative. Tom wants to be remembered as a heroic figure, when all he's done has led to innocent people being implicated in his crimes and the deaths of others not involved with any of his schemes. But, in spite of all of that, Tom never comes across as an unlikable character, since the film is all about Tom's maturation and realization that he's not the hero that he pictures himself to be. So the film also concerns itself with giving its characters something to do. It's not just about the treasure that Tom is obsessed with getting, it's about the characters finding a way to do right after all the harm they've caused. The film is really well-cast, so no complaints on that front. It was essential that Kyle Gallner and Adam Nee, who play Huck and Tom respectively, had a chemistry that made it seem like they've been friends for decades and I do think they managed to achieve that, which isn't always the easiest thing to do. That's probably one of the film's strongest elements, that relationship and how Huck, seemingly, has always been drawn in by Tom's schemes, even if they're not exactly in his best interest. The movie might not be perfect, but it's a really damn fun movie to watch in all honesty. It all just comes together really nicely. The writing is really strong and the cast has great chemistry. This is an easy recommendation, for sure. Really good movie here.
A must see movie event for any fan of Mark Twain, we join Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn as grown up young men in the modern day, still under the long shadows of their younger selves, still on the look out for hidden pirate treasure. Very well done and well executed. It's smooth. I only missed an update on Jim, the Mississippi River, the King and the Duke. Maybe there's more coming? I hope so. The Coen Brothers are not the only kids in town anymore.
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