May 30, 2014

Underdogs (2013)

Underdogs (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Juan José Campanella
Country: Argentina / Spain

Movie Review: Acclaimed Argentinean helmer, Juan Jose Campanella, who brought us wonderful films like the comedy “Son of the Bride” or the praised thriller “The Secret in Their Eyes”, returns with “Underdogs”, a big-budget 3D animated movie that marks a new experiment in his career. The film is structured as a story inside the story, as a father tells his past adventures to his son, after seeing his fascination for some loose figures unscrewed from an old foosball table. Amadeo is an ace in the foosball table game, being the first and unique to beat the boaster Grosso, a bad loser kid who challenges everyone. Several years later, Grosso returns to avenge his defeat, control the small village and its people, and kidnap Laura - Amadeo’s beloved girlfriend. Amadeo will get the precious help of the foosball figures, which even competing against one another to determine who is the best scorer, will join forces to make justice. The film ends up with a decisive soccer match between the dwellers and the invaders, to decide the future of the village. Impeccably illustrated with irresistible colors, “Underdogs” was very well executed but not completely satisfying in its blend of sports and romance. A few funny moments, visual creativity, and an adventurous energy, were the most positive aspects of the film, but the lack of strength in determined segments of the story, together with a finale that slightly disappoints, threw this animated feature into standard territories. It’s competent and most probably will be a success near the younger ones, but I can’t avoid asking Campanella to return to his best comedies and thrillers.

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