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Missing Link

Opening Date
11 Apr 2019
PG Some Violence
94 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Adventure, Animation, Comedy
Chris Butler
Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Thompson, Timothy Olyphant, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, David Walliams
The charismatic Sir Lionel Frost considers himself to be the world's foremost investigator of myths and monsters. The trouble is none of his small-minded high-society peers seems to recognize this. Sir Lionel's last chance for acceptance by the adventuring elite rests on traveling to America's Pacific Northwest to prove the existence of a legendary creature. A living remnant of Man's primitive ancestry.
By Hoai  12 Apr 2019
Visually, Missing Link is a true feast for the eyes, with a vibrant colour palette not found in Laika’s previous films, and the hyper-attention to details that gives CGI animation a run for its money.
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Missing Link, the fifth feature by acclaimed stop-motion animation studio Laika, follows Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman), a Victorian-era explorer who receives a letter informing him of the existence of Sasquatch.

Desperate to earn membership into the well respected London Optimates Club, Sir Lionel heads to the Pacific Northwest of America to search for the legendary creature. To his shock, the Sasquatch (Zach Galifianakis) turns out to be a cheerful, English-speaking giant, who wrote the very letter that got him here in the first place. The two make a deal that Sir Lionel will help the lonely Sasquatch - or Mr. Link, as Sir Lionel calls him - to find his distant cousins - the mysterious Himalayan Yetis, and in return, Mr. Link will give him proof of his existence. Together, the two set out on a journey halfway across the world to Shangri-La, accompanied by the feisty Adelina (Zoe Saldana), with an assassin sent by Lord Piggot-Dunceby (Stephen Fry) hot on their heels.
Visually, Missing Link is a true feast for the eyes, with a vibrant colour palette not found in Laika’s previous films, and the hyper attention to details that gives CGI animation a run for its money. That is not to say Missing Link doesn’t make use of CGI. In fact, the combination of physical puppets and props against computer-generated sets of various locations along Sir Lionel’s journey allows for much more visually dynamic scenes.
The beautifully constructed sets coupled with the humorous dialogue exchanges between the characters may be more than enough to keep the younger audience engaged. But to the grown-ups in the audience, the weak narrative and under-developed characters will quickly become apparent. Besides Mr. Link, whose guilelessness and sincerity endear him to both children and adults alike, the film doesn’t give much room for the rest of the characters to fully develop. Adelina seems to be there only to give Sir Lionel the pep talks he needs to change his attitude towards Mr. Link. Perhaps if the film was two hours long, there would’ve been room for character growth to happen more organically. Narratively, the third act also wraps up too quickly with a rather underwhelming final face-off.
The level of artistry in Missing Link has certainly redefined what stop-motion animation can achieve. Yet, one cannot help but wonder if Laika has relied too much on the visuals to pull the audience in and forgotten what really stays with them afterwards: the characters and the story itself.
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