Monday, July 13, 2020


Image credit: Disney Movies
I know I don’t have to say it, but man it’s hard keeping up a fresh reservoir of film reviews during a pandemic! Between rewatching Avatar on Netflix, D&D and gaming channels on Youtube, and trying to keep my stress levels under control working in an essential retail service, I really haven’t had much time for movies.
A sentence I never thought I’d write.
Also it’s very hard to review new movies when there are no new movies to go the cinemas to see. But streaming services have come to the rescue a bit there.

My partner and I recently sad down, flicked on Disney+ and watched the newest one from Pixar: Onward, an adorable little quest narrative that celebrates the current trend in popular culture: Dungeons & Dragons!

Onward tells the story of elven brothers Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt) who go on an epic quest to complete a spell that will allow them to bring their deceased father back for one day. For Barley, the eldest, the quest to bring back an ancient magic that’s been gone from the world for centuries is a dream come true, but for Ian, who discovers he can do magic, it’s a difficult journey of self-discovery.

While Onward is not Pixar’s best contribution to cinema, it’s still a very sweet story balanced with loads of action and comedy. The central drama of Barley and Ian’s strained relationship as Ian grows up provides the narrative with the perfect amount of drama, making the climax all the more heart-warming.

Being D&D players ourselves and suckers for all things fantasy, my partner and I really got a number of kicks from the jokes, genre gags, and references to popular culture. There were moments when some of the humour felt a little forced or too family friendly, but it was ultimately still really fun and cute.

Image credit: Variety
Holland and Pratt bounce really well off each other, giving their characters a very believable and relatable feeling of family.

While it is not the most groundbreaking or funniest of films in Pixar’s repertoire, Onward is nevertheless a very touching and sweet movie that succinctly depicts the struggles of adolescence, early adulthood, and the current trends in pop culture.

Director: Dan Scanlon, 2020

Cast: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Kyle Bornheimer, Lena Waithe, Ali Wong, Grey Griffin, Tracey Ullman, George Psarras, and John Ratzenberger

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