The Book of Life: Review
A matador of life and death
Coming with Guillermo Del Toro’s stamp of approval, Jorge R. Gutierrez’ animated labour of love was always going to be well-crafted and wonderful to look at. Centring on the story of two friends (one a lover, the other a fighter) who vie for the hand of their enchanting childhood friend (Zoe Saldana), this admittedly finds a while to find its feet, with a frenetic opening peppered with slapstick humour for younger viewers. Never mind, for the story soon picks up as our leads mature, and a conventional message about following your heart is enlivened by great musical covers, ornate animation, and a light-hearted Ice Cube cameo.
Like the wooden marionettes, this is beautifully put together, and though the jokes don’t always land, the story is charming and the visuals are inspired.