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STORKS – Heron Is So Passe

storksDirect by Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
Starring Andie Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer

Storks certainly isn’t the simplest film to give the elevator pitch for. Still, as it’s from the studio that brought us the wonderful Lego Movie, your hopes begin to soar. The question is, can this film deliver.

No longer in the business of delivering babies, the storks have moved on to become an effective parcel delivery service for a whole range of shopping needs through Conerstore.com. To become the new boss, all young go-getting company man Junior (Andie Samberg) has to do is fix the mistake that sent them out of business 18 years ago. By finally returning the stork’s greatest disgrace (an undelivered baby now grown to adulthood) to the human world. Instead of firing the orphan Tulip (Katie Crown) he occidentally sets off a chain of events that sees the Baby Machine activated once more, and Tulip and Junior find themselves teaming up to try and deliver a new baby to the human world.

This film fairly quickly falls out of the sky.

Hard.

To be fair, there are moments that shine through. There are some great one-liners, some fine animated sequences, and some well staged action comedy, but they are swamped by a mire of mediocrity. Unfortunately Storks feels like the filmic equivalent of the Winchester Mansion, a jumbled mess of add-ons that appears without rhyme or reason dragging the plot down.

It’s surprising then to learn that this is not then a film designed by a committee, but rather the vision of one man as director, producer and writer. True, Stoller has always been a bit of a crap shoot. He brought us such gems as Bad Neighbours, Get Him To The Greek, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, as well as writing flops such as Sex Tape.

This is the latter.

Here the script has no real clear vision of what it wants to say, or the story it wants to tell. As such, various elements seem to be welded on, just to attempt to add tension to the overall product. At one point we have four separate characters vying for the position of villain of the piece, all yanking at different plot threads through the film. This doesn’t add complexity, but rather creates a muddled mess. It’s indicative of the storytelling overall – inelegant. Sure, everything fits together at the end, but it’s more like someone having assembled a jigsaw puzzle with a mallet, rather than a cohesive whole.

Some laughs here, but as a whole Storks limps along on a broke wing.

DAVID O’CONNELL

 

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