Hi, I’m Oliver Mannion, younger son of Lance Mannion. One month ago, after we went to see Big Miracle, my dad and I were standing outside the theater and happened to see a poster for Dr Suess’ The Lorax. Neither of us had desire to see it. I then got an idea. A wonderful, awful idea. I told him to send me in with a note pad and a pen, and I would come back with a review.
I viewed this movie last Sunday and this movie infuriated me. Not because it’s really bad or insulting. It’s because it’s disappointing. This isn’t a movie. It’s two movies. Half the movie is told in flashback. One part of the movie is good and the other is…not. I will start with the main focus of the movie, the present day.
The main character of this movie is Ted, a young generic boy, voiced by Zac Efron, who delivers a generic performance. He is trying to win the somewhat less generic girl of his dreams, Audrey, voiced by Taylor Swift, who also gives a generic performance. They have face off against a villain named Mr. O’Hare, who is, of course, generic. Now to Rob Riggle’s credit, his performance isn’t generic. I want to say he’s over the top but that implies there is passion in the performance or at least some energy. Here there isn’t. Not that I blame him, the character isn’t really interesting and goes on the one joke that he’s very short. Ted’s mom and grandma (voiced by Jenny Stale and Betty White respectively) are the only good performances of this story. The story itself is bland with jokes that have been done to death with no new takes on them to make them fresh. It’s actually very short and is filled with padding. Maybe it wouldn’t be so short if it didn’t rely on exposition through music. This makes it come off as lazy, which it really is. The climax is stock and you can guess down to the last gag what’s going to happen. Overall it’s a bland movie with little purpose. Most of the little kids in the theater didn’t really seem to enjoy it. The other movie though is quite different.
The other movie is the flashback, which is the story found in the original book, albeit expanded upon. It’s very good. How Good?
If it was made into its own full length movie it could rank up with some of Pixar’s best stuff.
I’m not even joking. It’s that good. When I think of the Lorax, I think he’s old, wise, and calm. Danny Devito isn’t like that at all, but he does a surprisingly great job, mostly because he bounces off really well with the Once-ler, voiced by The Office star, Ed Helms. The Once-ler is a much, much, better character than Ted. Ted has no personality to speak of. He’s just the generic kid who wants to get the girl. A storytelling means to an end. The Once-ler, on the other hand, is a real character. He is smart, resourceful, and a nice guy to boot. But like a good character he has his flaws too. He’s driven to be someone and doesn’t care what he has to do to accomplish his goal. And he can get full of himself and not listen to his once friend. That’s right, the Lorax and the Once-ler start off as friends. This takes a sort of sad story and turns it into a tragedy. It’s heartbreaking to see the Once-ler turn from a nice guy into a corrupt businessman who only cares about money even though he’s hurt his past friends to get it. It’s has a lot of themes of The Social Network such as betrayal and greed. Just it now also has an environmental message as well. It also has the best jokes and better character designs. It also has better music helped by the electric guitar theme often used. This could have been a great movie on it’s own and angers me so much that it was forced to fit around a bland and generic movie.
Dr Seuss’ The Lorax might be worth seeing just for the Once-ler’s story. The bland parts are tolerable enough that you can sit through them.
Well that’s all for now. I hope to review other movies for you in the future.
This is Oliver Mannion signing out. Have a good day.
Dr Seuess’ The Lorax, directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda, screenplay by Ken Daurio, based on the book The Lorax by Dr Seuss, feautring the voices of Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Rob Riggle, Jenny Slate, and Betty White. Now playing in theaters.