REVIEW: Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
by Andy Crump
If there’s one thing Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart isn’t short on, it’s imagination. The film, produced by Luc Besson, France’s mad scientist of commercial filmmaking, is a lovingly madcap bricolage of ideas run rampant; it borrows from countless genres, niches, and platforms, resulting in a movie that feels intrinsically literary as well as inexorably bound to the medium of cinema. In one moment, the movie evokes the invention and wizardry of George Méliès. In another, Jack the Ripper appears to croon a musical number and menace the film’s eponymous character before vanishing and being forgotten.
Up and down, zigzag, loop-de-loop; Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart is a visual amusement park ride after Tim Burton’s own heart (and, perhaps to a lesser extent, Roald Dahl’s), a movie so all over the place that it often leaves you dazzled and wanting for breath. But the sheer volume of ingenuity and creativity allows the film to handily dodge the feeling of assembly-line plasticity that plagues so many modern animated children’s films. Better to be exhausted than bored, after all, and if Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart is a bit scrappy in places, it will never, ever allow you to be bored.
Click here for Andy’s full review