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Monster Island review: This beast lacking a bit of bite

 

By Damon Smith

It's good to be bad in director Leopoldo Aguilar's computer-animated coming-of-age story about a teenager who discovers he is a little monster in every sense.

Based on a simplistic screenplay by Billy Frolick, this sporadically amusing if derivative yarn has faint narrative echoes of Hotel Transylvania and Zootropolis but none of those films' charm and visual sophistication.

Monster Island has a pleasing undercurrent of heartfelt emotion that venerates father-son relationships and the power of self-belief. Yet good intentions don't translate to great entertainment, even with the inclusion of a cute animal sidekick (a lizard called Watson) and feel-good choruses of pop hits Bang Bang by Jessie J, Cheerleader by Omi and Boom Clap by Charli XCX.

At a lean 80 minutes, Aguilar's film doesn't outstay its welcome but it is evident there is bountiful padding around a linear plot that could easily be distilled in a sprightly half hour.

Two stars

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