Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageReview: ‘Early Man’ has fun with one of the world’s oldest sports Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Feb 17, 2018 in Entertainment
‘Early Man’ is a hilarious, prehistoric adventure that dates the “early man united” back to the Bronze Age in a movie that will tickle football fans.
Since no one could have physically lived through the ancient past, particularly the start of humankind, it’s challenging to envision what life could’ve been like then… but it can also be fun to imagine the innovative ways people may have used the things around them to enjoy some of life’s current luxuries. The Flintstones was the prime example of this as prehistoric man co-existed with dinosaurs and built a pretty “high-tech” city, complete with amenities and primitive versions of various electronics. The latest imagining comes from the very talented team at Aardman Animations, as they present Early Man.
Dug’s (Eddie Redmayne) clan resides in a healthy valley at the centre of a vast desert “near Manchester” during the Bronze Age (which may be taken a little too literally by at least one character). Under the leadership of Chief Bobnar (Timothy Spall), they hunt rabbits and live relatively satisfactory lives. But one day, Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) invades their home and pushes them out into the Wastelands in order to mine its precious resources. When Dug accidentally follows Nooth back to his kingdom, he experiences his first football game. The entire populace fills the stands to watch their unbeatable home team take on any and all contenders. Desperate, Dug challenges Nooth’s team to an all or nothing match for the valley. Hoping to follow in their ancestors’ footsteps, Dug enlists Goona (Maisie Williams), a soccer star without a squad, to help him turn his friends into a winning football club.
The opening act is an amusing look at Aardman’s version of primordial life, which includes spider web hammocks, beetle razors and dinosaur bulldozers. The rabbit they catch for their interrupted meal makes repeat appearances throughout the picture, representing the studio’s entertaining relationship with animals. But this is truly an ensemble picture with many characters contributing to the film’s humour. Dug’s makeshift family consists of a group of oddballs, including a man whose best friend is a giant rock, another man who puts everything in his mouth, a contrary father-son pair and a no-nonsense woman not afraid to throw a punch. In addition, Dug’s best friend is a dog-like swine called Hognob (Nick Park), who is always there with an evocative expression or helpful nudge. Hiddleston gives Nooth the strangest accent, but his greed and snobbery are an endless source of laughter; particularly when he responds to orders from the Queen.
The film follows the typical sports genre formula, which includes the underdogs doubting their abilities before a training montage demonstrates they may actually have a shot at winning. But the movie meanders a little in the middle as Dug tries to whip his amateur team into shape in between their field being attacked by a three-storey duck. Still, it all comes back together in the last act, on the pitch, when they face-off against the undefeated Real Bronzio. Spoofing some of the most comical aspects of professional football, fans of the sport will be in stitches; especially as they mock the dive, and incorporate commentators to deliver the typical clichés and observations.
Aardman has been entertaining audiences with their claymation creations for years and even though this doesn’t feature one of their famous characters, it shows their wit and ingenuity are not limited to Wallace, Gromit or Shaun the Sheep.
Director: Nick Park
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Redmayne and Maisie Williams
More about Early man, Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Redmayne, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall
Entertainment Video
Latest News
Top News