The Road to El Dorado
*.5 GM
Starring: Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Rosie Perez, Edward James Olmos, Armand Assante

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I'm a sucker for cartoons, but not this one.

Whereas a lot of cartoons have the potential to be whimsical, funny, charming and involving, this one is whimsical, laughless, dull and uninteresting. Well, not THAT bad, really, but a lot less fun than it could have been.

Tulio (Kevin Kline) and Miguel (Kenneth Branagh) are two con-men who find their way onto a lost island, find the City of Gold and make like they're gods to the indigenous people, all the while intending to swipe some gold and head back home to Spain. But, with the help of a spitfire named Chel (Rosie Perez), they decide to hang out and fight the nasty villain (Armand Assante). Also, there are cute animal sidekicks. Thankfully, they don't talk.

There were very few genuine laughs here - a handful of bemused smirks, but nothing that really busted the gut at all, or even really came close. If you've got a swashbuckling animated adventure in the works, it should contain some really funny stuff. They gave it the college try, but it came up a little short this time around.

It is kinda interesting that Chel gets down and dirty with Tulio for a little bit, though - and that a character clad only in a loincloth and a bikini top can have no effect on a guy, but when she moves her hair and shows off her back a little, he goes cukoo for Cocoa Puffs. Don't see too much stuff like that in the kiddie shows. I also find it odd that a lot of huge fat guys in cartoons/comedies are shown to somehow posess titanic strength at some point, like the chief (Edward James Olmos) does in this film, when he starts tugging on ropes and seemingly almost singlehandedly stops a huge pillar from collapsing. Fat guys aren't strong. It's funny when they kick ass, but fat guys don't exercise. Fat guys are weak. Generally. There are 90 pound weaklings and there are 800 pound weaklings.

All in all, a lackluster effort. Maybe just far too many Elton John interludes for no reason at all. I like "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That," "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)," "I'm Still Standing" - hell, I even liked "The One." But it's got to stop now. If this is all that's gonna come outta him, it's GOT TO STOP NOW.

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