Note: Kubo and the Two Strings is a long ass title, so I’ll just call it KATTS.
KATTS starts off with a voice-over that goes something like, “Hello, LOSERS! If you gotta take a piss, go now, because you’re about to watch THE BEST MOTHERFUCKING ANIMATION MOVIE EVER!” The next five minutes of the movie consists of giant tsunamis, a bleeding mom, and a toddler who almost dies. And I’m like, “You’re right, voice-over guy who’s not Morgan Freeman! This is THE BEST MOTHERFUCKING ANIMATION MOVIE EVER!” So, I whip out my phone and book the next 300 shows for KATTS.
From the point I reached into my pocket, to the point where I unlocked my phone, the movie became 20 times more awesome than it already was. The baby – named Kubo btw – is now a kid who has guitar skills so amazing, I’m convinced there’s going to be a KATTS spin-off short film where an adult Kubo impregnates someone and names their baby KIRK HAMMETT. Kubo: The Kirk Hammett Origin Story. Seriously, when Kubo starts shredding on his guitar, colourful paper origami warriors come to life and start battling colourful paper origami fire breathing chickens. I swear, if you listen really carefully, you can hear one of the paper origami creatures say, “GTFO Inside Out. You lose!”
And then it goes south.
Once the main story kicks in, KATTS begins to falter. Kubo, a monkey, and a beetle have to go on this sick adventure to retrieve mystical objects while trying to escape GRANDPA FROM SPACE and ZOMBIE BITCHES. Also from space. Sounds like every guy’s wet dream right? And it is, for the most part. Except, in between zombie bitches and space grandpa, our heroes take a stroll, crack some jokes and sit around. It’s the movie’s attempt to add depth to these characters and make them more relatable. It fails. And it’s a bore. There is also some nonsense about the beetle trying to shag the monkey.
KATTS also suffers from some serious pacing issues. There are sequences where it goes from A to D and you’re left wondering, wtf happened to B and C? Only, before you can even think of getting annoyed…
Monkey VS Zombie Bitch
…which will now until the end of time be also known as THE BEST DAMN ACTION SEQUENCE IN ANIMATION MOVIE HISTORY! Mother of all things awesome, was this spectacular. I don’t want to spoil too much, but let’s just say, it takes place on a ship and it will make every action scene in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise look like a sword fight between two gay dudes. #MindFuckingBlown #IntenstinesFuckingBlownToo
In fact, almost every single action scene in this movie is Godly. It doesn’t just look cool – and believe you me, it looks COOL – but it also contains some very real emotion. Every time the bad guys get the upper hand, I got pissed off. Every time the good guys are winning, I’m like, “YEAAAAAHHHH!!!!! DIE ASSHOLES!!!!!!” *Gorilla-styled chest thump* You would think other people in the cinema would be pissed at me for creating a raucous, except, the action scenes are so dope, the whole cinema were doing Gorilla-styled chest pumps. True story. You can’t make this shit up.
WTF is this climax?
Fine, the climax isn’t dog shit, but it’s a definite let down nonetheless. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything, so let me tell you a story instead. Imagine a friend of yours coming to you and saying, “Hey homie! You’ve got to try this RM300 noodles at restaurant X. It’s the BEST SHIT EVER!” And so you begin saving up. One ringgit a day, every day, for a year. So, finally the day arrives. You walk into the restaurant and order that legendary RM300 noodles. Only, when you try it, it tastes exactly the same as the maggi goreng from the mamak tepi jalan. Now, maggi goreng from the mamak tepi jalan ain’t bad. In fact, it’s pretty decent. But you did not save ONE RINGGIT A DAY, EVERY DAY, FOR A YEAR, for maggi goreng!
That pretty much sums up the climax of this movie.
Okay, maggi goreng climax and unnecessary sitting around aside, this movie is pretty damn legit. KATTS is one of those animation movies that isn’t just for kids; all good/great animation films aren’t. When you look at the likes of The Lion King, Tarzan, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Inside Out and Zootopia, these may be movies that are primarily catered for kids, but at the same time, they’re movies that adults would find more enjoyment in. KATTS fits into this mould, though it’s not as good.
Fun fact: KATTS isn’t afraid to grow a pair of balls and push the envelope. There are scenes in this movie that will make little kids cry and wet their beds every night for two weeks straight.
Need I say more?
All photos sourced from Kubo and the Two Strings.