Unimaginative screenplay

Happy Feet 2 3D begins impressively, abounds in technical wizardry and brilliant choreography but the narrative soon starts meandering nowhere 

Ah for sequels! Why canít they avoid them? In Happy Feet 2, thereís a line early on which says "sometimes youíve got to back up to go forward" but this just doesnít happen. For all its technical wizardry and brilliant choreography, it tends to be an overdose and far too loquacious. All of 99 minutes and 20 of them could safely have been clipped. Quite often less is more.

It starts impressively (the beat is great) with emperor penguin Mumble (voice of Elijah Wood) tap-dancing with a following of thousands of other penguins. It is to instil in them some confidence, especially his youngest Erik (Ava Acres), who seems to have two left feet. It makes a plea to be different but doesnít practice what it preaches.

And talk about preaching, this film abounds in it, sadly. But Erik runs away and thereís a massive search for the little one. In the meantime, a massive chunk of ice collapses and traps some of them. So Mumble has to get into a rescue act. This gives enough scope for the story to develop and entertain but the chance is just missed. There is that plethora of cameos, the guru Lovelace, lippie lover Ramon. A Swedish puffin and a horde of elephants. But it is the two krills Bill (Brad Pitt) and Will (Mat Damon), who form a great duo and lighten up many a dull moment with their touching love-hate relationship.

Initially the tap-dancing is catchy and reminiscent of good old Fred Astaire, who must be applauding from above. Choreographer Mitchell Hicks must be commended. But director George Miller tends to meander not helped by an unimaginative screenplay. The 3D facility stands out especially where the two krill come within whispering distance. See it if you must but it is sure to lose by contrast.



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