Norm of the North

Norm of the North

Director: Trevor Wall

Writers: Daniel Altiere, Steven Altiere, Malcolm T. Goldman, Jamie Lissow

Voice Cast: Rob Schneider, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong, Bill Nighy, Colm Meaney, Loretta Devine, Michael McElhatton, Maya Kay, Gabriel Iglesias, Salome Jens, Charles Adler, G.K. Bowes, Debi Derryberry, Ben Diskin, Keith Ferguson

Synopsis: When a real estate development invades his Arctic home, Norm and his three lemming friends head to New York City, where Norm becomes the mascot of the corporation in an attempt to bring it down from the inside and protect his homeland.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild rude humor and action

Stevennix2001's Rating:

0 / 10

Pros:

- Although the movie isn't that great, it does have a great pro environmental message for the kids to learn from. Sadly, it was executed poorly here.

Cons:

- Cheap animation that looks dated by today's standards; in spite of the fact that it came out this year.

- The voice acting was subpar, as it sounds like all the actors phoned in their performances.

- The plot of the film makes zero sense, and it's amazing how easily all the human characters just accept the fact that bears can talk. How convenient.

- All the characters range from either being bland and uninteresting to straight up annoying as hell.

- None of the jokes were funny.

S**t thy name be Rob Schneider

While Adam Sandler manages to find some redemption through his animated movies like the "Hotel Transylvania" series, after making crap after crap in the live action movie realm, Rob Schneider seems to be falling in both areas these days. Not only is "Norm of the North" unfunny, but it's not even that good. If anything, it flat out sucks.

Granted, Rob is the least of this film's problems, but he certainly didn't help either. The story follows a talking polar bear named Norm, who has the inexplicable ability to talk to humans. During the film, they even note that not all polar bears have this ability, and it's even mentioned that most humans are unaware of polar bears that can talk. Yet most of the people that encounter Norm in New York that know he's a talking bear seem to take it rather well. If anything, they don't freak out about it if at all. Nope, they just treat it like it's a natural thing the instant they find out, or they assume he's a schmuck in a bear costume.

Moving on though. Norm somehow finds out about the Greene Company's plans to colonize the Arctic with new housings for humans. He comes up with a scheme to stop them by going to New York, and then use his gift for gab to convince them to stop. Of course, he also finds out his grandfather is held captive in New York by the same greedy corporate pricks he's trying to stop. Oh boy. However, that's not even the best part of this story either.

As it turns out, the real estate prick needs an eighty five percent approval rating in order for his plans to go through, or else he'll lose his funding for his arctic housing plan. And if you haven't guessed what his plan is by now, he plans to use the arctic to sell itself. Enter Norm himself.

After meeting with Norm, he decides to use his charming personality to win over eighty five percent of the New York populace. Once he becomes popular enough, then he figures he'll dupe Norm into saying he approves of them building homes in the arctic, which will allegedly give him the approval rating he needs.

Needless to say, Norm finds out about this, and decides to play along. He figures if he can use that popularity against them by saying he doesn't approve of them building houses in the arctic; hence ruining Greene Estates' plans. It's also another reason why he doesn't simply kick the old man's a**, and free his grandpa right away. Nope, he has to play along first to become popular, so he can use that popularity against them instead of it being used for them.

And if you're with me so far, you can see why this plot makes no sense. First of all, if you honestly think about this, Norm had NO REASON to go along with this convoluted plan. As the film explicitly states earlier, the corporate douche can't build any houses in the arctic without an eighty five percent approval rating. Therefore, if Norm just knocked his a** out, and took his grandpa back to the arctic right away instead of going along with it, then the arctic still would've been fine anyway. There never would've been a need for Norm to have any action packed last ditch effort climax because his home never would've been in danger to begin with. Think about it.

The real estate company wanted him to gain popularity to push their plans onto the public, so he can give them a public endorsement. Granted, you can use the scene where they use a blatantly fake audio recording of him saying what they wanted him to say, and the public being stupid enough to buy it, as a way of defending Norm. However, if Norm never would've gone along with the damn plan to begin with, then the villain never would've been in a position to dupe both Norm and the public like that, so in reality, Norm was the one that put his home in danger.

The only reason why it's okay for Norm to do something like that is because it's sets him up as a hero in the third act of the film. Granted, I know they were trying to make Norm a sympathetic figure fighting for his home, but all they did was make him look like a jackass, in the process.

Hell, they even mention he can't hunt, which begs to question, "Wouldn't he starve to death as an adult polar bear if he can't hunt?" But like the movie itself, none of it makes any sense.

Sure, they introduce a couple of human protagonists to help Norm, with one of them working for the corporate prick that wants to destroy his home. The film obviously uses her as sort of an excuse on why Norm can't just take his grandpa back home right away because if anything goes wrong with Greene Estates, then she gets fired; thus her daughter can't go to the prestigious private school that she wants. However, this only proves my point on how sloppy the writing is for this god forsaken film.

First of all, it's even addressed in the film that the daughter wishes her mom didn't work there, and the mother herself even has doubts about the company. If they were going to go that route by having her play a key role, then it would've made more sense if Greene Estates already had approval to build homes in the arctic without Norm's help.

Norm still could've used his gift for gab to talk to the mother about trying to stop Greene Estates. Norm could've even galvanized the creatures of the arctic to stop the construction workers; in "Ferngully" fashion. The daughter could've been the voice of reason telling her mom that it's wrong, and the mom can be torn between doing something horrible to save her job, or standing up for what's right. If the film had gone this route, then you still could've had Norm come out looking like a hero, and it would've worked perfectly.

But with the current mess they did produce, it's nothing more than a convoluted piece of crap that makes little to no freaking sense. And to make matters worse, none of the characters in this movie are remotely interesting. Most of them often ranging from being generic stereotypes to obnoxiously annoying.

The animation is awful and looks blatantly cheap. The voice acting is subpar, and the humor falls flat on it's proverbial face. A polar bear shaking his a** while twerking is supposed to be funny?

All I can say is that "Norm of the North" is arguably one of the worst animated movies that I've ever seen. Say what you want about Adam Sandler's "Eight Crazy Nights" being a piece of s**t, which it was, but at least you could tell some effort was put into it. This piece of crap was cheaply phoned in, and doesn't deserve any kind of praise for it's obvious mediocrity.

© 2016 Steven Escareno

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Comments 2 comments

Discordzrocks profile image

Discordzrocks 8 months ago from Austin TX

I will never watch this movie ever again, it was almost worst then small soilders


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 months ago Author

yeah Ill say. "small soldiers" was one of those it's so bad that it's arguably pretty good just because of how laughably bad it is, but this film was just awful.

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