Sammy's Great Escape
There is some confusion here that needs to be sorted out. Sammy's Great Escape is a sequel, a follow up to A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures, but it works as a standalone movie, which is why Warner Bros are behind the new title: Sammy's Great Escape. Also, kids attracted to the poster are sold a movie about two baby turtles that get up to all sorts and the title suggests one of them is called Sammy. Sammy, however, is the grandfather to one of these babies and it's not really his movie, as he's just one of many sea creatures here. Any of that bother you? It shouldn't because Sammy's Great Escape is actually a lot of fun.
Sammy and best buddy Ray are enjoying their slow beach life when suddenly they are captured and thrown onto a smelly trawler that ships them to a plush, expansive aquarium in Dubai. Here they meet the rest of the population: a blowfish that looks too much like Marty Feldman to be funny, a schizophrenic lobster and Big D, the seahorse who runs the aquarium with the help of his two slimy sidekicks, the eels. Sammy plans to escape but Big D seems intent on thwarting all sorties to the outside…
In short it's a prison break movie and, considering the young age group it's squarely pitched at, a very simple one. Directors Ben Stassen and Vince Kesteloot (what a great name) don't worry about the ‘immersive 3D' that's in vogue right now and come up with any excuse to throw things at the screen as much as they can. They keep things fun and moving throughout.
There are some oddly dark moments, though: one seahorse is punished by being thrown into the cold tank where it freezes, the wacky lobster watches one of his kind torn apart and eaten by diners to the strains of The B-52s (you know which one) and, in a scene that's like something from The Warriors, two ‘bad fish' are descended upon by tough-looking crabs in a cramped dark pipe.
It's zippy, it's not overloaded with pop culture references and has enough peril to keep the kids entertained.
Review by Gavin Burke | 15:24 | Friday 8th February 2013 | Movie Review