Alpha and Omega (3D), Justin Long

Directed by Anthony Bell, Ben Gluck. Starring Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Dennis Hopper, Danny Glover, Christina Ricci.

Sorta looked like the classic Lady And The Tramp but turns out it’s more Boring And Tacky!

So it’s Lionsgate’s entry in to 3-D animation. We’re not expecting Disney, Pixar or Dreamworks. But from the very first frames of Alpha & Omega you realise this is going to be bad animation. It sorta reminded me of India’s very own Roadside Romeo. Shudder!

Basically about opposing Canadian wolf packs and a hierarchy which sees Alpha wolves as higher up than Omega ‘joker’ wolves, the film is your standard ‘boy wants to get girl but has to face obstacles before he does’ story. There are warring families, proud fathers, domineering mothers and over-shadowed younger sisters. There’s a goose and a duck thrown in for good measure.

I’ve cringed watching some Hindi movies over the five years I was working at Filmfare. And I have to be honest, this is the first time I’ve cringed watching a Hollywood film. I may have hated the guts out of an American production but never cringed. The dialogue is cheesy, corny, lame and clichéd. The animation is stale, tacky, awkward and stilted. The story is so outdated that your average 12-year-old will have seen far better. In fact, this film wouldn’t even appeal to a 6-year-old who has grown up with films like Wall-E, Cars and Toy Story. Maybe a 4-year-old would go for it but even he would wonder aloud: “Mommy, how come one daughter is an Alpha but the other daughter is an Omega if they’re not supposed to mix (i.e. mate).”

There are some funny moments but not enough to distract you from the aberration that is the singing in the film. Yes, instead of howling at the moon together (mating ritual since they can’t actually show the mating) our skinny wolves sing. Badly, I might add. This isn’t even a musical. So why-oh-why did the filmmakers choose to use that I wonder.

You can’t really feel for the lovers and there’s really not much adventure or thrill here to compensate for the awfully boring characters. Only Ricci’s sister act as Lily and the late Dennis Hopper’s pack leader Tony reverberate with some personality.

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