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Review: Early Man

Eddie Redmayne stars in Lionsgate's EARLY MAN

There have been plenty of instances where films straight from the U.K. have found difficulty breaking out over here in the U.S. That’s especially true for family friendly flicks. While many of them have found success back home, plenty of them have struggled to make any serious money on foreign soil. I think a movie like Early Man may be facing the same dilemma. It’s an exceptional movie aimed at kids, but there are maybe a couple of reasons why it won’t connect as well as it should.

Set during a time when dinosaurs roamed, Early Man focuses on Earth’s human inhabitants known as cavemen as they are being threatened by the arrival of a more evolved version of mankind. This threat strikes fear into those who appear to be destined to be a part of the past, but one brave caveman (Eddie Redmayne) refuses to back down. In order to save his tribe and their land, the determined man of yesteryear risks it all as he challenges the newcomers to a soccer match that looks to be hopelessly stacked against them.

Early Man appears to be a simple film on the surface. Over the course of its run time, that is only confirmed more and more. As it moves along, the style in which it’s executed runs parallel to this uncomplicated story line in a way that creates fluidity and balance. Because of this, this isn’t the type of feature film you need to follow intently, and that may factor into just how much people will enjoy it as a form of entertainment.

Going about it this way allows for the picture to be accessible to just about anyone who thinks they may be interested. This is especially effective when making films geared toward kids, but there’s one thing that may limit its audience when looking at how well it plays here in America. Although I found Early Man to be pleasant and worth watching, there are some things that many people in this country may not quite get. I’m speaking mostly about certain references that a good number of us may not pay much attention to here.

As you watch, you’ll notice that there are some jokes and comments that are included that are very soccer/football heavy with much of this is shown in the form of innuendo. It’s the reason why some may miss certain things that others may find funny. Although it’s more popular than in the distant past, soccer isn’t exactly a big deal in America. This could be one explanation behind why people may miss specific features and situations that should warrant a reaction.

Then again, there are a growing number of kids playing soccer in the U.S. these days (even if they don’t stick with it) who may catch everything that I’m speaking of. For people like them and even someone such as myself, a movie concentrating on what’s known as “the beautiful game” could work well. For everyone else, there are still some things you can get out of this. After all, Early Man has the ability to make you laugh and enjoy yourself with everything else that’s included.

Rating: PG

Director: Nick Park

Eddie Redmayne
Tom Hiddleston
Maisie Williams
Timothy Spall
Miriam Margolyes
Rob Brydon
Kayvan Novak
Rob Brydon
Richard Ayoade
Selina Griffiths
Johnny Vegas
Mark Williams
Gina Yashere
Richard Webber
Simon Greenall
Nick Park

Film Length: 89 minutes

Release Date: February 16, 2018

Distributor: Lionsgate Films

  • Score - 7/10
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