Spirit Untamed (2021) movie review
Well this is a deviation from our Conjuring reviews isn’t it? So Spirit Untamed is a new animated featured which is very much inspired by the DreamWorks series Spirit Riding Free (2017-2019) on Netflix, which in turn is a take on the 2002 animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Which is awesome if you haven’t seen it. (We do also have a review for that you can check out, but first, let’s talk about Spirit!) So Spirit Untamed follows Lucky Prescott, a girl who returns to her father living on this film’s version of the frontier. There she meets a wild mustang that is of course the titular Spirit.
So Spirit opened this weekend in fourth place at the Box Office, with somewhat low reviews so far. I for one was pretty excited about another Spirit movie! Until I saw that this was definitely for kids… But we saw it, and yeah, it’s for kids. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and if you’ve got young kids and need something to go see, hey this is out, fairly entertaining, and very appropriate for younger audiences! If you want a good Spirit movie though… Eh I did too.
Gone are the long, wonderfully animated sequences set to Bryan Adams music! And this to me was a massive letdown. I mean I didn’t expect Adams to be back for another, but the film was very much an audible misfire for me. Neither the score nor the album worked for me, and there are sequences that desperately needed more music. But there are only like two songs that aren’t part of the score here. Why? Don’t know. Also the movie just didn’t look as good as almost twenty-year-old predecessor. The animation wasn’t as fluid, and the texturing and landscape work felt like it needed, well, more work.
Now obviously kids aren’t going to care too much about that. They are here for the tone really; to watch something that will entertain them for a while. And this will do that. While the jokes weren’t too widespread throughout the film, most of the kids in the theater got a kick out of the tropes that I found a bit dull. Precocious young boy on his own with his own animal sidekick that doesn’t do much. Yeah I feel like I’ve seen that before… But boy did the kids find it funny! Adult character who is consistently getting badly animated food thrown on them? Yup. Annoying character who annoys the other characters to comic effect for kids but really adults are just as annoyed? Oh yeah!
The film has some heart too. I don’t want to hate on this film too much, as it needs to effectively tell the story it sets out to tell. And while I don’t care for the story, it does do a good job selling the relationship between Lucky and her father, which is the heart of the film. But, could we do something else? I feel like ‘Mom dies, kid and dad can’t bond, kid finds something that mom loved, dad disapproves, kid uses passion to save the day, dad changes his heart’ is also something I’ve seen alot. Plus, the character arc is the dad’s, not the daughter’s… And that just turns Spirit into a plot device.
Ugh you know what? I don’t care about this movie. The story is typical, the villain is really stupid, the setting is very confusing with the way everyone talks and acts, and there is no weight to anything that happens. I don’t care for it. It’s not the worst thing this year, but unless your kids want to see it, Spirit Untamed isn’t worth it. 5/10.
So Spirit? Who are we kidding, you didn’t see this movie. So what movie are you most looking forward to this weekend? And which should we talk about first? Leave a like and/or a comment below and let us know! Also go watch the original Spirit. It’s awesome.
-review by Ryan Prince