This year started strong on the animation front, with the enjoyable Kung Fu Panda 3 (read my review here). Following on from that, the second animation of 2016's huge slate of animated flicks has arrived - Norm of the North.

With great, inspired animations such as Inside Out or How To Train Your Dragon or Wreck It-Ralph having all released within the past few years, the genre is currently at an all-time high. 2016 promises to be a great year for animated films with the likes of the fun, enjoyable Kung Fu Panda 3 having just released and the critically acclaimed Zootopia merely days away from hitting U.K screens; even the R-rated animation Sausage Party looks great. Of course not every animation will hit home but, I mean, this genre can't be too bad, surely? Even last year's disappointing Minions wasn't awful. Well, Norm of the North has arrived and it has shown us just how terrible animated films, or even just films in general, can be. It's atrocious. This film is a god-awful pile of shit. It is, without a shadow of doubt, one of the worst films I've ever seen.

The premise follows our eponymous polar bear Norm (voiced by the always trustworthy, "incredible" talent that is Rob Schneider). Whilst not great at hunting, Norm realises that he posses the rare gift of being able to communicate and converse with humans. Not having had much chance to use this gift, his skills are called upon when he learns of a housing scheme - plotted by the nefarious, despicable Mr Greene (Ken Jeong) - being planned in the Arctic, set to destroy Norm's home. Wanting to protect the land, Norm - accompanied by three lemmings - stows away on a ship to New York and poses as an actor in a bear suit to become the face of Greene's advertising company and tarnish his plan and save the Arctic from the inside.
With the economic and environmental state of the world today heading into a flux, with issues such as "global warming" and "pollution" as prominent as ever, you can't discredit a film that tries to spread awareness. Norm of the North does just that and you can't help but appreciate the message this film is trying to deliver but, unfortunately, it falls short on its own merits and it's no use when the film, despite having its morals in the right place, is no good whatsoever. In fact, this film is truly awful. It needs to focus on what it is and it needs to focus on being somewhat competent before it focuses on its message. Everything about Norm of the North is frustrating. This is a convoluted and terrible mess; the premise itself is so lazily strung together and the narrative is so convoluted and non-sensical.

Not only has the script been so poorly written and the story so poorly developed but the actual animation in this film is utterly atrocious too. Now, I can understand that this film was limited in budget as it was initially supposed to be a Straight-to-DVD film but that's no excuse for how awful the animated visuals are and just how lazily slapped together and edited this film is. There's no definition or resolution or detail to the aesthetics of the already bland, irritating and one-dimensional characters in this film. The irony is that, despite the laziness in the production of this film, it seems as though director Trevor Wall and the studio were really trying their hardest to make this a good movie. The script tries so hard to be intelligent and funny but it all feels overtly contrived and forceful that it just doesn't work. The film is so painfully unfunny that it becomes cringe-worthy and embarrassing and, despite trying to be smart, this film is so dumb that it's bound to rub off on you. It really is a hard film to sit through and to watch.

Rob Schneider's voice talents fit Norm perfectly because both he and his character are annoying and useless and dumb, subjecting us to the torture that is this film. The film clocks in with a runtime of only 86 minutes but it feels like so much longer than that because of how painstakingly boring and torturingly tedious this shit excuse of a film is. Nothing of interest ever happens and this is just such a dumb, convoluted and boring film that is so bad it's actually embarrassing. We've seen some bad animations over the years but Norm of the North is, by far, the worst animation ever. Heck, it's just one of the worst films ever. It's a giant, heaping pile of fucking shit that doesn't even deserve to call itself a movie. This is why originality is dead in Hollywood, because we have brainless directors and talentless actors like Schneider in this industry delivering us atrocities like this. It's bad. There's nothing redeeming about this movie. It really is an atrocity; everything about this film is awful.

VERDICT:
Norm of the North is one of the worst films out there. Period.

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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