“So that new W&G, I dunno… It had a huge number of awesome one liners, so script was all good, but I feel as if it was lacking something, maybe cause it was so fast paced” – Woody Roxon
After a winter hiatus, where the only thing newsworthy was how overrated Slumdog Millionaire was, finally something cracking has been released on the big screen. The long awaited fourth installment of Nick Parks’ Wallace & Gromit shorts, A Matter of Loaf and Death, though aired on Christmas for the BBC has finally been imported to the States. And boy, was it what I “kneaded”. Complete with a new business of inventions, contraptions, love interests, villains, puns and buns, Loaf does not disappoint as the lovable but dimwitted Wallace and his penchant for falling into trouble (love) is once again rescued by loyal dog, Gromit.
From the beginning the structure parallels The Curse of the Were-Rabbit as the story is framed around a murder mystery with a “cereal killer” on the loose targeting bakers. Opening from the Killer’s point of view creeping up behind Baker Bob (also known as Bob Baker, Nick Park’s writing partner) greeting the camera only to be done in by a rolling pin. We are then reintroduced to Wallace & Gromit’s latest business venture, Dr. Atkin’s nemesis, Top Bun Baking “Dough to Door” delivery company. Although the pace is frenetic filled with clever gags and well done puns that all fall into place – such as a burnt slice of toast popping out of their car radio, the new twist this time around is Gromit’s love interest. And while she may have some hot cross buns when compared to Wallace’s homely hook ups I would think by now Gromit would know a bitch when he saw one.
Curiously given the filmmakers recent split form Dreamworks you’d expect something less polished with more eccentric British wit and charm like their previous shorts instead of references to Jerry Zucker’s 1990 Ghost. Although a revisit to Wallace & Gromit will always be a positive refresher maybe this is where the problem may lie ahead in their future endeavors as we eagerly await the next Aardman feature film, hopefully not resorting to the same script formulae. This being my only criticism, lack of innovation, at least it’s not as lame, misguided and seriously irresponsible as this – Sourdough Rolls.
Stay tuned as we kick off this summer with Star Trek at the IMAX with some serious Trekkies.