PHAN­TOM BOY

Out of body ad­ven­tures

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

This ami­able French an­i­ma­tion is part para­nor­mal fan­tasy, part Bat­man and Dick Tracy pas­tiche.

In Man­hat­tan, a lit­tle boy is hos­pi­talised. But he has a power – he can project him­self into an as­tral body, soar­ing into the sky to see all. When the city’s threat­ened by a jig­saw­faced gang­ster, the boy and a po­lice­man re­cov­er­ing in hos­pi­tal team up to save the day.

It’s a good mix of gen­res, even if in­di­vid­ual el­e­ments are only partly suc­cess­ful. The crime story is some­times ex­cit­ing, but the vil­lains are too buf­foon­ish, even when they bran­dish guns. Many of the jokes are good, but they can dis­si­pate the film’s mo­men­tum. The boy’s med­i­cal con­di­tion is a clear threat, and there’s a sub­tle am­bi­gu­ity about how we should un­der­stand the story. But the res­o­lu­tion feels dis­ap­point­ingly safe, given how the film seems to be shap­ing up.

The look evokes a colour­ful ban­des dess­inées strip, with strong lines and flick­er­ing shad­ows – though the char­ac­ters’ mouths are less suc­cess­ful. The strings-heavy sus­pense mu­sic brings back mem­o­ries of Bat­man: The An­i­mated Se­ries, adding fur­ther ap­peal to this thor­oughly de­cent car­toon. An­drew Os­mond

“I’m tak­ing this soap back to Boots.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.