Film » Film Capsules

Delgo

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This computer-animated feature is a heroic fantasy evidently aimed at childish mindsets that thought Star Wars: The Phantom Menace didn’t have enough Jar Jar Binks. The setting is a nameless mythic realm where two humanoid races co-exist uneasily, one a faintly Jedi-like tribe of saurian semi-mystics, the other a haughty bunch with fairylike wings who arrived as refugees but took over. A banished usurper, with an army of goblins/orcs/whatevers, tries to foment ruinous war between the two sides, but the title character (Freddy Prinze Jr.) and a princess (Jennifer Love Hewitt) save the day, in a sub-Tolkein narrative devoid of surprises. At least there are no songs. Maybe this is what the Israeli-Palestinian quagmire looks like after too much Elfquest. Some of the creature designs, seemingly taking a cue from cathedral gargoyles, are interesting, but Xbox-quality visuals are less than cutting edge, perhaps because Delgo sat on a shelf (or in a hard drive) for years, the dead giveaway being the late Anne Bancroft as the villainess. Maybe the Atlanta-based filmmakers got wrapped up playing World of Warcraft. Cynics about the future of film-less filmmaking can go all Lord Voldemort over the end credits, when the six (!) credited screenwriters and their cohorts crown each other with twee titles such as “Digital Demiurge” and “Mystic ’Mator of Motion.” Ray Harryhausen have mercy on their souls. H 1/2

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