NOTE: A lot about the movie was already covered in my article from a few days ago. Some of what I say here is going to be similar to some of what I said there.
1. What’s it about?
Missing Link, which opens today (April 12, 2019), centers around three characters: Primarily, Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman), a skilled explorer who nonetheless cares more about his status with regard to other explorers than he does about actual exploration; Mr. Link (voiced by Zach Galifianakis), a surprisingly well-read and well-spoken, but lonely, sasquatch; and Adelina Fortnight (voiced by Zoe Saldana), a skilled adventurer herself, but is struggling to start the next chapter of her life following the untimely death of her husband.
The film takes place in an unspecified year in the late 1800s. The plot, basically, is that Sir Lionel is trying to get a group of other British explorers to accept him, yet due to lack of evidence he is persistently unable to do so despite making some pretty remarkable discoveries. He discovers (sort of) Mr. Link, who agrees to come back to England with him to prove that Sir Lionel is a great explorer, but only if Sir Lionel first takes him to find his Himalayan brethren, the yetis. In order to fulfill this request, Sir Lionel enlists the aid (sort of) of an old flame of his, Adelina. And then their adventure begins, all the while being hunted by a hit man hired by one of the other British explorers who wants more than anything to stop Sir Lionel from succeeding.
2. Will I like it?
It’s a very likable film. I’m certain some people will enjoy it more than others, but that’s always the case; regardless, I can’t see how anyone could seriously dislike it. It’s definitely a lighter story than the last film LAIKA – the studio who made the film – made, Kubo and the Two Strings. It’s very funny, as you’d expect from any movie with Galafianakis, who voices the naive, very literal Mr. Link very entertainingly. Saldana does an excellent job as Adelina, who’s anything but the stereotypical woman on a voyage in movies – and Saldana adds a bit of a Hispanic accent to enhance the verisimilitude. Hugh Jackman – here doing a British accent despite being Australian and not physically in the movie – does a good job as Sir Lionel, who has to evolve during the movie from a completely selfish person to a still-but-less-completely selfish person.
3. Will my kid(s) like it?
Missing Link is rated PG, and is OK for most kids. There are some scenes of peril, and things get pretty tense with the hit man and his thugs trying to kill the protagonists. But it’s really no worse than what’s in your average Disney animated film, and at least in this film nobody’s parents die. And Adelina is a refreshingly awesome female protagonist.
4. What about the animation?
Honestly, this is the rare movie that would be worth seeing just for the animation, even if the story and characters weren’t as engaging as they are. LAIKA does stop-motion animation, and they’re one of the very few places in the world that still does. The constructs they made for the characters, to be able to show different emotions, are so wonderfully-made that it’s almost possible to forget you’re watching animation at all.
5. Is it worth paying extra to see in 3D?
The preview screening I attended was in standard 2D, so I can’t say for sure. But it was so excellent in 2D that I can’t imagine 3D would add a great deal to it. You won’t be sorry if you save a little money and see it in 2D, is what I’m saying.
6. When’s a good time for a bathroom break?
Missing Link is just about 95 minutes long. There are very few scenes that could be considered crucial to the story to the point where missing it would make you utterly confused when you returned, so I’d say that as long as it’s not during a tense moment or right at the end, you should go.
7. Do I have to stick around through the end credits for a bonus scene?
The end credits themselves are awesome to watch, with photos and drawings and such being moved around by Mr. Link as they roll. And there is a little bit at the end. It’s generally worth it to stay to watch, but if you need to answer a call of nature, it’s probably not (and you can see it on video, eventually).
Note: I attended a press junket for this movie. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Images: LAIKA Studios