Movie Review: “Storks” – Rushed Delivery

Written by Matt Butler September 29, 2016

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Perhaps by now you’ve noticed a trend with the movies I choose to review. And for the record, yes, I did choose to see Pixels. Why? Because I hate myself. Let’s move on. The trend I’m talking about is animation. Why? Because I’m a manchild. But also because I think animation makes more use of visual storytelling than any other medium. Of course, that could just be what I tell myself to make my weekly ventures to the theater feel mature and intellectual. This is especially helpful for films like Storks, movies that are never mature and only rarely intellectual.

Okay, that was pretentious. I mean, was I really expecting to reach Pixar level heights of emotion with this movie? I guess what I did expect was something to fulfill the promising annotation: “From the studio that delivered The Lego Movie”. In parts, it delivers on that assertion, it does echo the break-neck speed and rapid-fire comedy of The Lego Movie, but it has few ideas of what to do with it, so they resort to shoving in as many jokes as possible, regardless of their relevance to the situation. A lot of them don’t even feel like jokes, just silly things happening really quickly. The Lego Movie did this too, but there was a set-up and a payoff to every joke, and on top of that, they helped to propel the story. With Storks, joke-telling and storytelling are two completely separate practices.

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“We’re not like a family, we’re just a guy and girl trying to raise a baby.”

Again though, I have to remind myself to keep things in perspective. After all, this is a movie that works in a pack of wolves assuming the form of a “wolf submarine” into its story (a commendable accomplishment in and of itself). But throughout all of the film, I couldn’t understand the motivations of the lead protagonist, Junior (Andy Samberg). It’s clear he has an issue with babies, and it’s clear why he’s able to overcome it (because babies are adorable and our brains won’t have us thinking otherwise), but we never see where this issue starts. It doesn’t mean a lofty backstory, just some line to clarify why Junior is the way he is, that way I’m not stuck questioning motivations. And then there’s the bigger, perhaps the biggest question: If storks stopped delivering babies, where DO babies come from? Did babies just stop being made? Maybe this is a tricky question for a silly kids movie, but hey, that’s a can of worms for you.

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“I am in love! Are you in love?”

The last fifteen minutes are where the film finally finds its stride. There’s a consistent message throughout Storks: Without a second thought, without a rational thought, we’d all drop everything for the sake of our children. It’s in the final moments that this message is spoken at full volume. It’s nothing clever, but it’s also nothing preachy. What it is, though, is sweet.

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“I agree I agree I agree!”

Storks is far more skilled at being cute than it is at being funny, but it’s by far the least offensive of the unfunny films I’ve seen. It’s loud and obnoxious, but at least it’s forgettable loud and obnoxious. While the last 15 minutes do offer some kind of payoff, I don’t think it’s enough for a recommendation, though maybe just enough for the parents.

My Rating: 5/10

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About Matt Butler

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is a strapping young English Major with a fiery passion for the art of cinematic storytelling. He likes long walks on the beach and knows the proper use of 'your' and 'you're'. (Example: I hope YOU'RE having a wonderful time browsing our site, and I hope you enjoy YOUR time reading my film reviews. I wrote them just for you.)

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