Wow, it took fifteen years but we finally get another episode of Jackie Chan Adventures. The gratuitous swearing and unnecessary penis were a strange addition though. Sucker of souls war directed by Owen Sullivan from a script by Philip Gellat. This review will contain spoilers.
Y’know, I’m really starting to despise Philip Gellat’s dialogue. Maybe it’s because this episode so far has the worst voice direction of the bunch but it really stands out here. In my real life, I have a fucking foul mouth, yet I don’t know that this man quite knows what that means.
The film follows a gang of mercenaries employed to protect researchers exploring a historical fortress. Then the actual Dracula is inadvertently awoken and things go all to hell. It’s a relatively fluid little piece, Studio La Cachette’s 2D animation manages to capture the desperation of the escape, if little of the actual fear.
I remember when Outlast got released it was praised for the appearance of two fully naked male villains. Stuff about how it weaponized the (assumed male) player’s fear of sexuality to terrify. By making them cannibals it drew a link the consumption of one’s physical form and the reality of sexual violence.
Also, a lot of guys are uncomfortable around other people’s dicks. Just saying. This film doesn’t really no what to do with that; an early shot of the vampire pans up from his feet to his head, if only to establish that they gave him the exposed penis. Later Gary, the lady mercenary, shoots it off and laughs in a gag that kinda destroys the pacing of the climatic action beat.
But much of the pacing is brought to a halt by the jokes in this thing. The mercenaries are supposed to have a bantering relationship which frankly falls down flat. For as lush as some of the camerawork can be when it’s sweeping in big arcs around the action, the approach to dialogue coverage and the editing of visual gags is remarkably sloppy.
Like, take for instance this moment halfway through. We’ve discovered that the monster fears cats more than anything and fortunately they’ve barricaded themselves in a room with two of the cute things. The door starts to give, cut to the cats having sex, half a second later someone limply says, ‘They’re fucking.’ and like that the joke is dead.
I keep harping on at the fact that these shorts are all posturing at a nihilistic worldview, like some hot-topic teenager. It happens again here at the ending, another cruel joke played on the audience, the world is bad and suffering inescapable. Why can’t they just let themselves be fun?
I’m not sure any of the characters so far will have Funko Pop figurines made of them, but honestly right now it’s a distinct possibility.
Love Death & Robots is currently available to stream via Netflix.