Luis Bunuel was one of the pioneers of Surrealist cinema. When describing the process of making his 1929 film Un Chien Andalou, he said “Our only rule was very simple: No idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted” .
That is the exact same mindset the creators of Norm of the North had when making this travesty.
Do you ever just get sucker punched by a film? Like, it just completely takes you by surprise an you’re just so shocked and disconcerted by what you’ve just seen? Norm of the North is that film. It has gotten nothing but terrible reviews from just about everyone, and it is one of those films where you think you know how bad it is cause everyone has told you. But you don’t. You seriously, honestly, 100% don’t. I promise you, there is not a single sentence in this review that will accurately portray just how abominable this film is. It has to be seen to be believed, but preferably, not seen at all.
So Norm, voiced by everyone’s favourite, Rob Schneider, is a polar bear living in the arctic with his family, but he’s not like other polar bears….He’s annoying as fuck, and he likes to twerk. When he discovers that there are plans to build condos on his icy home (because that’s a plan that makes perfect sense), Norm heads to New York and gets in close with the big wigs behind it to stop it happening and save his home.
This is, without a doubt, one of the worst animated films ever made; it was originally supposed to be released straight to DVD, but then some fanny fart looked at it and went “No it’s perf, put it on the big screen”. The animation is beyond horrible, and that’s quite a key component in an animated film, believe it or not. It’s jumpy and shoddy, and the voices don’t always match up. In fact, the voice work itself is irritating as hell, despite some talented cast members (emphasis on some). The script is completely in explicable; there is not a single rational decision made in this film, nor is there anything funny or heartwarming or entertaining. It’s all incredibly stupid. It’s so rushed, like every little detail of the film is over in like 10 seconds, and nothing feels real or worth caring about, not to mention that pretty much every single line of dialogue in it is exposition. Norm explaining why he’s not like other polar bears, his brother explaining tourists, his Dad explaining what polar bears should be like, the condo building guy explaining his evil plans, the woman and her incredibly smart daughter etc. it’s all completely unbearable to listen to.
Norm of the North is the absolute worst kind of kids film; it expects kid to just be okay with bright colours and mildly amusing images of a polar bear shaking his booty, as opposed to giving them anything valuable. For years, companies like Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks have released animated films that worked on every level, even some deeper than you might expect a child to understand, but for others, they’re perfect. Norm of the North is just completely baffling. You know when you watch a really complex and confusing film, like Enemy or Under the Skin, and you spend days thinking about it? That is literally this film, but in the worst possible way. For days, I was struck to the bone with sheer delirium, trying to understand just how this film could be so terrible. It’s been a week almost and I’m still processing it. It’s so inexplicably horrible, there is absolutely no justifiable reason for it’s existence and it’s just absurd from start to finish.
But as I said, there is no way to accurately describe how bad this film is. Nothing I’ve said even comes to close. Norm of the North isn’t just a film, it’s an experience; it’s the eighth wonder of the world, a monumental feat of awfulness. This film is a work of art that belongs in a museum, in a display case heavily surrounded by armed security and lasers and alarms, with people paying travelling miles and mile sand waiting in long queues with their cameras ready to snap pictures of what will be heralded as the most baffling piece of art ever created. It is one of the most unbelievably terrible films ever made, and it doesn’t pass for “so bad it’s good” or “so bad that you have to see it”, it’s just plain horrible. If you’re genuinely curious about it’s poor quality, and you need to know how bad it is, whatever you’re expecting, you’re wrong.
Don’t think you know what you’re getting with this film just because everyone has told you. You have absolutely no idea.
NORM OF THE NORTH IS OUT 18th JULY