Paws of Fury The Legend of Hank (2022)

Cat Play

Viewer paradigms are evolving quickly in the film world. I think the COVID lull has stopped that temporarily as we wash out the projects like this that were on automatic pilot during that era.

By evolving, I mean that we as viewers build more and more devices for self-awareness in the film narrative. Devices that were novel and attractive at one time, things like ‘Scream’ or ‘Barton Fink’ would not work today. They were fresh and effective in their time, but because they rely on that balance of being in and out of the film — and that balance has changed — they lose their power.

What gets stale and what turns classic I suppose is a matter of evolutionary accident. I’ve been working in this area for 20 years now seriously, and I can’t look at ‘Prisoners’ for example and predict how we’ll perceive it in 20 years.

But looking back is easy. This project lacks energy, and that has nothing to do with introspection or folding. But all Brooks’ projects did, and they made up for it in borscht humour that in its day was powerful. I think of the Marx brothers but without the physical elements.

So it is completely understandable that this would fail. They simply took an old formula, wrapped it in what they thought was a fashionable context and sent it out to animators overseas.

Here’s the thing. I’m a hard judge. I often see influence in the narrative where it would be far better for me to just relax and let the experience flow through me. But I saw this with 9 and 11 year old boys and they were underwhelmed.

Posted in 2022

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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