Film Review: ‘Luca’ Uses Queer-Bait Hoping to Reel in a Hit, Ends Up Snagged

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Even as an adult, I am still in awe of how effective animated features are as narrative vehicles. As a kid, it was the thing I would consume the most, gorging myself into a stupor. The cartoons didn’t even have to follow any set story structure, especially when some of my favorites included a cowardly dog, a cow and chicken as siblings, and even an underwater sponge that is friends with an aquatic squirrel.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

Utter nonsense, but as a kid, it easily became my main source of lessons during my formative years (for better or worse). As an adult, I can still enjoy a good animated show or film now that I am able to view it through the lens of an adult who remembers what it was like being a child. That’s how I can tell when something is reductively insulting to the viewer, and Luca was an absolute fin slap to the face.

Anytime you enter the wonderful world of animation, you have to suspend your disbelief because in these cartoon oases anything is possible. Take my favorite animated film of 2021, The Mitchells vs the Machine, which did give us some of the basic family film tropes, but it presented them in a high-stakes, adrenaline-rushed station wagon that made so many cultural and pop-cultural references that it was impossible not to love. This is an example of how the base of your story doesn’t have to be revolutionary for your outcome to be extraordinary. The pacing, internet humor, and especially the natural integration of an LGBTQIA+ main character, were all the extra spice needed to make this a well-seasoned dish everyone could enjoy. Why have I spent so much time talking around the movie this review should be about? It’s because, like most Disney films that claim to be inclusive, I’m hoping you can find it somewhere in the subtext.

“Luca” in theaters and on Disney+ June 18th. Featuring Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman, Maya Rudolph, Marco Barricelli, Jim Gaffigan, Sacha Baron Cohen, Sandy Martinand, and Giacomo Gianniotti. Directed by Enrico Casarosa. Written by Enrico Casarosa, Jesse Andrews, and Mike Jones. Rated “PG

StarClick here for Jon Espino’s full review of “Luca”

luca1
Photo credit: Disney

StarClick here for Jon Espino’s full review of “Luca”

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Chicago Party Aunt

    CHICAGO – The funny meter of Netflix went off the scale last week, as the animated series “Chicago Party Aunt” made its debut on September 17th. What began as a Twitter account by comic actor Chris Witaske (who also provides his voice talent) has morphed into the cartoon adventures of Aunt Diane Dumbowski, her nephew Daniel, and an array of familiar Chicago-isms and characters.

  • Factory Theater, The

    CHICAGO – It’s time again for live theater in Chicago, and The Factory Theater – in anticipation of their 2021-22 Season – is launching “Quiet Please! It’s A Silent Auction,” an online silent auction through the month of August (the 1st-31st). An amazing array of goods and services are available for bidding, and can be accessed by clicking here.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker