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The Fantastic Mr. Fox

20th Century Fox ; 99 minutes

Director: Wes Anderson

Written by on November 25, 2009 

fantasic mr. fox

20th Century Fox | USA/UK | 99 min

The Fantastic Mr. Fox is Wes Anderson’s best film since The Royal Tenenbaums. It features his usual shtick including the array of eccentric characters, scene chewing dialog, and being shot on a level of pure beauty. This is an instantly charming, hilarious, and highly entertaining film that bursts with originality.

Mr. Fox (George Clooney) is a thief, he’s the of the best. From stealing chickens to knocking out dogs with poisoned blue berries, he loves the adrenaline rush. Unfortunately, he has to give all that up once his wife Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep) becomes pregnant. Once he hangs up the old trade he’s now just a regular old Fox. Making dues as a writer, living the normal family life, and none of this involves his favorite thing: stealing. But once he moves into a new tidy tree home he’s found a thief’s delight. Sitting right across his street is three large factories that include a sweet apple beverage, plenty of meet, and loads of chickens. This is where Mr. Fox turns back to his old ways to pull off one of the biggest heists in Fox History. From then on, it becomes all out warfare between Mr. Fox and the three crazed company owners.

Mr. Fox’s tirades are utterly entertaining throughout. There’s never a single dull moment through this artistically brilliant adventure. The story covers themes of family, friendship, and loyalty all portrayed perfectly. Mr. Fox is a pure excitement seeker who’s mishaps and flaws are all believable. He’s cocky and arrogant, but completely likable. This is why the story works, Mr. Fox is a flawed individual who makes mistakes. He may be fantastic, but he’s flawed in a naturalistic way. As the story progress things only get worse for him and his friends all due to his mistakes. The final act becomes an action film that completely works. What could have become a forgettable dull action finale is instead as compelling as the rest of the film.

Clooney, as usual, is fantastic, no pun intended. Clooney carries a pure likability about him even within his distinct voice. As stated before, he makes Mr. Fox a purely relatable and understandable character. Meryl Streep, similar to Clooney, also stands out. She’s likable and a fun character that isn’t a forgettable side character that falls under Mr. Fox’s shadow. Both make craft a perfect dynamic and that share great chemistry. The same goes for all the supporting characters, everyone from Billy Murray to Jason Schwartzman play their unique characters with the best comedic sensibility possible. The only true disappointment that comes from The Fantastic Mr. Fox is the scene stealing Willem Dafoe, who’s character Rat is unfortunately underused. Dafoe makes Rat a hilarious villain with the standard ’50’s lingo, but his lack of screen time leaves more to be desired.

Anderson harkens back to the old school way of stop-motion, delivering an eye popping visual feast. All the characters feature a handmade jerky quality to them in the most satisfying way possible. Every character has a distinct look. Anderson also brings along his artful knack for  framing. Each shot contains lushly colorful colors and each frame comes off as a painting. Anderson’s style and compelling way of storytelling is no different here and as usual it works greatly.

This is a joyously hilarious comedy that even earns all of it’s sentimental moments. Every character, especially Mr. Fox, is easy to connect to and be involved in. Wes Anderson has crafted a film unlike any other thats been seen in recent years.


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