Over-sentimental, patronising, Famous Five African road movie
- Africa United review by PV
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You rated this film: 2
This film is so sentimental, twee and old-fashioned (Victorian even) that it makes Enid Blyton look like Harold Pinter................. It is what's known as a 'feelgood' film - in other words, it gives a positive (hence completely unrealistic) view of Africa - a place where the vast majority of people are friendly and helpful, according to this, except for a few bad apples, half of whom are white. Yeah right...........
There has always been a certain type of well-off white person who has a rather patronising love of Africa - with all those smiley little black faces - and I think this film is made by such people. It's also very religious and churchy, especially the ending. It even argues that so long as you've got 'god and the goodies [AIDS medicine]' than all will be well. WHAT UTTER TRIPE! The 1 million people killed in Rwanda in 1994 were killed for religious reasons, and AIDS has spread like wildfire in Africa because of religious teaching to a gullible population! Sorry - didn't like this 'feelgood' movie at all - but it sure does tick all dem PC boxes, so that's why it got all our BBC money and lottery money to get made...........................
The dialogue is also sometimes clunky and 'on the nose', and the acting (from the adults) so wooden as to be made of ebony! Direction is workmanlike, and there are some animation sequences that REALLY do not work at all - but they are part of the churchy, 'let's all pray and get to heaven', ethos of this twee little children's film. I don't think even that many kids will really like it that much though - but there are some nice scenes, some nice pics of animals (which the director shamelessly gets into shot and sequences, despite their having no relevance to the plot!), and some football sequences that boys will love. Two stars at most though.