Film review: Early Man (4 out of 5)

Early Man
Early Man

It’s only a couple of weeks ago that I watched Nick Park’s 1989 first main feature A Grand Day Out.

I’d seen all his other work but had unintentionally missed this one, with its charming, and rather surreal style.

All these years later and Park is still sticking with that formula - and thank goodness!

And Early Man is as British as you can get, with no US ‘stars’ slipped in to try to get a wider audience.

Park’s success over the years means he can get big enough names over here to sign up.

So we have Eddie Redmayne as Dug, Tom Hiddleston as Lord Nooth (sporting a strong French accent), Timothy Spall as Chief Bobnar and a host of familiar names such as Rob Brydon, Miriam Margolyes, Richard Ayoade, Johnny Vegas, Gina Yashere and Mark Williams.

The plot revolves around ‘early man’ Dug and the rest of his tribe who are forced out of their idyllic valley by the despicable Lord Nooth, on a mission to plunder all the bronze he can find.

To get their valley back Dug and his mates have to face the Bronze Age - but as this is an Aardman production we don’t have pitch battles with spears and clubs, it’s a game of football.

As with many of the previous productions there’s plenty for young ones to enjoy but Park slips in various clever jokes that an older audience can pick up on.

So we have Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams character Goona, an interesting newspaper headline, and watch out for some well known commentator cameos courtesy of Mr Brydon.

It’s all tremendous fun and continues the highly enjoyable Aardman tradition.

Film details: Early Man (PG) 89mins

Director: Nick Park

Starring: (voices of) Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Eddie Redmayne

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol