Arriving in UK cinemas from June 2nd (following a series of Q&A screenings which take place between 24th May and 29th May), is the Estonian animated comedy, The Old Man Movie – Lactopalypse!. The stop-motion film – from directors Oskar Lehemaa and Mikk Mägi – follows the story of a farmer and his grandchildren who set out on a mission to retrieve an un-milked cow, before it explodes.
In the movie, the titular Old Man lives in the countryside and spends his days milking his cow and distributing the produce to the locals. This is an ongoing arrangement, that has not altered in years, until his grandchildren come to stay over the summer and cause things to change.
One of the children untethers the Old Man’s cow, allowing it to roam free. However, the cow doesn’t just roam, it walks away from the farm and disappears from sight.
The problem is, that now the cow is free, it no longer has anyone to milk it. And, if no one milks the cow within 24 hours it will combust.
Setting out to retrieve the animal, the Old Man and the children face a race against time to find the lost cow. But they don’t just have a potential cow-explosion to contend with, they also have to deal with a bitter old milker, who is also on the trail of the cow and who is determined to destroy it by any means necessary.
Bonkers, off-the-wall, and more than a little rude in places, The Old Man Movie – Lactopalypse! is an animated movie not for the faint hearted. This isn’t your usual colourful stop-motion picture, which you can pop the kids in front of; this is a weird little film, filled with adult jokes and suggestive material.
Sure, The Old Man Movie – Lactopalypse! may look a bit like a Wallace & Gromit film, but trust me, this isn’t one for the little ‘uns. While it certainly borrows from the work of Aardman Animation in some of its quirky designs, there’s also a touch of surrealist Czech filmmaker, Jan Švankmajer going on in here too.
Chuck in lots of crude humour and the end result is a film which aims for a different audience to those interested in Shaun the Sheep. This is a movie which wants to be playful, but without having to hold back on its ideas, and wants its audience to get on board with its daft approach and quirky aesthetic.
As such, for some audiences this may prove to be an enjoyable piece of absolute nonsense. The juvenile humour will hit just right, and when combined with the absurd animation, it could deliver plenty of laughs.
However, for other audiences, The Old Man Movie – Lactopalypse! may fall flat . The jokes could produce a titter or two, but not enough to get excited about, and in general the paper-thin story simply won’t hold up.
I have to say, I fall very much into the latter category, and while I can certainly see some appeal in this movie for the right person, I don’t believe that person is me. I struggled to connect with the jokes, I wasn’t a huge fan of the tone of the film, and the story did very little for me.
From time-to-time I did let out a couple of laughs due to some of the sheer absurdity of certain situations and plot points, but never as many as the film wanted. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the animation, although I will admit this is just my personal taste.
To be fair, a couple of scenes did work fine, and I did find myself more engaged with some of the comedy as the film neared the climax. But at no point can I honestly say I was won over by what was on offer and I felt this way for the majority of the runtime.
The Old Man Movie – Lactopalypse! feels very much like a niche movie, and if you happen to fall into this niche then I hope you have a ball with it. But this film did little for me and I wonder if ultimately some of the Estonian humour will translate all that well with UK audiences.
The jokes were a little too low-hanging for my tastes, and the animation, while decent in places, was just too out there at times. So, not for me, but if you’re curious, take a look.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.
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