15th Aug2019

‘Playmobil: The Movie’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Features the voices of: Anna Taylor-Joy, Gabriel Bateman, Dino Andrade, Ian James Corlett, Lino DiSalvo, Ben Diskin, Jim Gaffigan, Kellen Goff, Wilson Gonzalez, Adam Lambert, Dan Navarro, Tito Ortiz, Daniel Radcliffe, Kenan Thompson | Written by Blaise Hemingway, Greg Erb, Jason Oremland | Directed by Lino DiSalvo


Playmobil: The Movie, directed by Lino DiSalvo, is the latest feature film adaption of a pre-existing toy or product that is adapted to capitalise on for monetary gain. The world has already been gifted not one but two Lego Movie features as well as a double bill of Angry Birds films, and now it is time for Playmobil to try its hand at creating a franchise and try to stand tall amid other highly successful ventures.

The end result is a mixed venture that does not quite grasp nor understand what works within a feature film of this calibre. On the surface, the whole basis of the venture is a replica of 2014s The Lego Movie. Considering this is released a staggering five years after said film with another film in between that date and 2019, it is deeply disappointing that there is remarkably little originality or uniqueness to be found here. Everything about Playmobil: The Movie is contrived from a similar and more successful idea, implemented her with poor results. The main story is regurgitated conventional themes and arcs that do nothing but highlight how poorly crafted this feature is.

Nothing here is intriguing or entertaining with just how bland the narrative plays out. It becomes clear that Playmobil: The Movie is never interested in crafting something compelling. Case and point that with any moment in which Playmobil: The Movie has a chance or the possibility to take a distinctly unique or exciting road, it always chooses the road well travelled to clear and visible results. It is bizarre considering the film has nothing to lose, aside from probably making more money than it would do.

Anna Taylor-Joy as Marla and Gabriel Bateman as Charlie do a good enough job of bringing their respective characters to life, but the material does not suffice with immersive or relatable energy. Both performances sadly feel phoned in with phonetic delivery of their lines and incredibly poor chemistry that does not feel believable or authentic. There is not a clear and distinguishable villain either with a strong enough plan in order for the audience to engage or care, and the result is a lifeless feature that rambles on without interest from its audience.

The screenplay is a disaster. There are three credited screenwriters involved here yet bizarrely it is as if the film is written by an automated robot that has seen every kid’s film imaginable and squeezes each genre convention into a mundane plot. None of the writers’ voices are heard, and the three professional middle-aged writers once again fail to write a teenage girl and young child correctly.

Its quite clear that Playmobil: The Movie is a mess with no clear direction in regard to just how it throws everything and anything into proceedings to try and connect to any audience out there. Such an attribute is not always a negative as long as if it has a goal or contextual reasoning, but here it spirals uncontrollably and unfortunately drowns in excessiveness, and never quite recovers.

Playmobil: The Movie is in cinemas now.


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