It's been a hell of a long time since my last update, and for that, you have my sincere apologies. You know how it is, work gets in the way, you never seem to have time, you have to write a review of a really uninspiring movie.
Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad. Far from it. I really enjoyed it. It just didn't leave me with much I wanted to talk about. If I had something as good as The Iron Giant or as bad as Quest for Camelot to return to, I'd probably have got to it sooner, but as it stands... ehh.
And with that thrilling introduction, we turn to -
WHITE GUYS EXCELLING AT A NATIVE CULTURE'S ACTIVITIES DESPITE NO EXPERIENCE!
IT'S THE ROAD TO EL DORADO!
|Speaking of men going their own way, this article will be illustrated entirely with screencaps that make the characters look gay.|
The plot isn't that daring, but it's nice. As the name implies, it takes a lot of influence from the Hope-Crosby "Road to" comedies, and Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline are well suited for the fun, bickering dialogue you expect from something like that. Branagh plays the easygoing, slightly dimmer of the two, and Kline the more tightly wound, which plays to their strengths. Apart from those traits, they haven't much personality, but they still work well as archetypes. As the third, native member of the team, Rosie Perez brings appropriate sass while not devolving to stereotype.
|This is for two reasons. First, for SOME REASON, 90% of the screencaps I found made them look totally gay.|
The film's biggest asset was the design. Bright and colorful, which characters that were exaggerated while still maintaining enough realism to connect to the audience. They actually look pretty much exactly like the Prince of Egypt characters, which is fine. Developing a house style helps them differentiate from Disney. And the El Dorado civilization is very well-designed. I was all set to be annoyed by the blending of Maya, Inca, Aztec, and Olmec that shows up in any movie set in pre (and just slightly post, in this case) Columbian Mesoamerica. To my own surprise, though, I didn't mind. It seemed fairly even and intentional when it did show up, and they also showed a lot of bizarre animals, driving home the point that El Dorado is a place apart from everything. My main animation problem is that old late-90s/early 00s bugbear that is CGI props. They still don't look remotely good.
|Second, I'm totally on board. They hit on a lot of ladies in this movie, but frankly, it mainly seems like overcompensating. Except for one thing I'll get to later.|
That's pretty much it. I wish I had a more interesting take for you. Maybe our next movie - which I assure you will be MUCH quicker than this one was - will be more engaging. So come back soon for... [checks top of page] some nonsense about a horse.
* The actual El Dorado myth started fairly small, being a probably exaggerated account of a native king being covered in gold dust at his coronation. The tale grew in the telling, as they do, until there were rumors and legends of a city made entirely of gold.
* Jim Cummings is back yet again, playing Hernan Cortes, as well as a host of extras. He doesn't bring his A-game, I admit, but he is one of very few people who can deliver a line as cliche as "Well well well, what do we have here" and imbue it with actual gravitas. So good for him.
* Ebert did note one of the film's great strengths was mounting jokes. There's one bit where the guys appear to be lost at sea, but then they see a bird, which must mean they're near land! Then the bird drops dead. Then a shark eats it. That's a gag that lives or dies on its timing, and they do them very well.
* Branagh can't maintain an American accent to save his life. Frankly, I wish he hadn't tried, because his fake American sounds distractingly like Kevin Kline, to the point that it took me a few minutes to work out which was which.
* "You fight like my sister!" "I've fought your sister, that's a compliment."
* Finally, for all my little jokes up there about how gay for each other the characters seem, at least one of them is not entirely. Please follow this link, as I give you, in gif form, the dirtiest thing I've seen in one of these movies so far. And you CAN'T tell me that wasn't intentional.
* If you don't get it, just look at where their heads come up in comparison to each other. Yeah. That's happening.