Early Man: Movie Review

Updated on February 27, 2018
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Early Man
Early Man | Source

Even with the occasional clunker like Cars 2 or The Good Dinosaur, Pixar has maintained an astounding track record. Even more impressive (though considerably father under the radar) is Aardman Animations, whose entire library of films and shorts, including the Wallace and Gromit series, Shaun the Sheep Movie, and Chicken Run all rest comfortably above 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.

But even they were bound to get a clunker sooner or later. And here it is.

Early Man is so confoundingly lazy and uninspired you will find yourself checking the closing credits to see if Aardman’s genius honcho Nick Park fesses up to being a part of it; it plays like one of those cut-rate animated flicks that goes straight to Redbox. Full of cornball attempts at humor, more over-your-head British one-liners than you could shake a haggis at, and a plot straight out of every movie ever, it’s a true clunker indeed.

Early Man centers on Dug (Eddie Redmayne), a young caveman who lives quietly with a small group of other early men (and women) in the Stone Age. They while away the hours hunting rabbits, but Dug is yearning for something more—like a wooly mammoth. When a platoon from the Bronze Age led by Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) invades Dug’s village, the cavemen are all displaced to the volcano-filled hinterlands, while Dug himself sneaks his way into the big Bronze-tastic city to get some answers.

After meeting Goona (Maisie Williams), a young peddler who will obviously be playing a large role later in the movie, Dug is forced to hide in a suit of armor to escape some soldiers. When he’s discovered, the soldiers mistake him for a member of the Bronze soccer team, and he’s trotted out onto the pitch for the big game.

Of course Dug doesn’t know a soccer ball (er, football—this is a very British production after all) from a sock puppet, and it doesn’t take long for the team to discover Dug isn’t who they thought he was.

Lord Nooth is unamused (as was I by this point), and he accepts a bargain from Dug. If the Stone-Agers (along with Goona, who, naturally, is a ringer) can beat the Bronze-Agers at a game of soccer, they get their land back, if not, they’ll work in Nooth’s mines for the rest of their days. Anyone have any idea how this thing will turn out?

Sure enough, we’re already well on the path toward a Hoosiers/Rocky/Victory rip-off, where the underdogs train (via montage, naturally) and the team known as Real Bronzio (ba-dum-dum!) yawn as they overlook their puny competition. Yes, Early Man is about as inspired and creative as an insipid Hallmark movie.

There’s very little here that’s worth the time of day (much less your money), ending Aardman’s impressive streak with nothing less than a colossal thud. And did I mention the giant, man-eating duck? Oh right, there’s that too. Egad.


2/5 stars

'Early Man' trailer


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)