Early Man (2018)

Early Man Poster.jpgFootball of the Wild

Director: Nick Park
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall, Richard Ayoade, Selina Griffiths, Johnny Vegas, Mark Williams, Gina Yashere, Simon Greenall, Rob Brydon, Kayvan Novak, Miriam Margoyles, Nick Park

Part of a tribe of rabbit hunters, Dug (Eddie Redmayne) believes they are destined for something greater. When Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston), governor of Bronze Age town, takes control of the tribes home, Dug challenges Nooth's star team to a game of football.

Image result for early man youtubeSlavishly following the traditional "underdogs facing off against the undefeated champions" storyline, it's safe to say there aren't many real surprises in this story. Despite this, Nick Park refuses to let this bog things down, delivering the unique brand of humour that's quintessentially Aardman. Sight gags and witty lines are fired off with a rapid fire efficiency, ensuring there's something for every viewer to laugh at.

Eddie Redmayne does likeable work as Dug, our protagonist who holds a complete belief in his tribe. Ever alongside him is Hognob, Dug's pet Boar, brought to life through the wonderfully expressive talents of Nick Park. Joining their quest is Goona, a rebel from Bronze Age town who just wants to play Football, and Maisie Williams breathes life into her. Then there's Tom Hiddleston, who proves himself a scene stealer as Lord Nooth, an overlord with a French accent, and a greed for money. Every line of his is delivered with great relish, perfectly selling the character as the antagonist, and as a great source of comedy, especially involving Rob Brydon's Message Bird.

It may carry few surprises, but Early Man delivers on the jokes with great ease, with a prior knowledge of Football not being necessary. Come for the stop-motion comedy, stay for the giant duck.