Early Man (PG)
Starring the voices of Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston
Directed by Nick Park
Stop-motion anime giant Aardman’s latest is set in prehistoric England, where a Stone Age tribe (led by Eddie Redmayne) and a Bronze Age tribe (fronted by Tom Hiddleston) settle a territorial feud in a winner-takes-all football match. Problem is, the cavemen know zilch about the game.
Cue training montage! Early Man doesn’t soar as high as Chicken Run or Wallace & Gromit and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (some jokes may be lost on non-footies), but it has enough loony moments — including one with a messenger bird, and every time Hiddleston’s hammy French-accented villain Lord Booth turns up — to keep the spirits up.
The producers should consider releasing Hiddleston’s recording sessions online. (***)