The illustrator Alberto Vázquez takes up the idea of the deadly enmity between unicorns and teddy bears that won the Goya with the short film Sang d’unicorn. A very powerful idea, with a very attractive visual stake, but with inexplicable narrative browns to a filmmaker with more than a decade of career
In front of a movie called Unicorn wars which is about the loving bears i My little pony killing each other on the battlefield, there is only one possible reaction: This must be seen. It’s like being told that a Godzilla sequel directed by Bergman and set in the Seville fair has been found in a warehouse. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad. Looking WTF is automatically a must watch. I was really anxious to find out what the thing was about, although the result has left a bittersweet taste on my lips.
On the one hand, the visual section is the main asset of the film. It is true that due to a question of budget, we are not faced with the visual complexity of mainstream American and Japanese animation, but we must recognize Vázquez that his proposal is so attractive that we have already forgotten about it in the second scene. The design of both the bears and the forest and the architectural elements draw the viewer in. Visually, the film is flawless. This is not the problem. The trick is the narrative.
I did not know the previous work of its director and watching the film I was convinced that it was his first work, because it suffers from a typical defect of Nobel directors: Wanting to explain too many things and in the end, not delving into any of them. The story is not very clear because there is no solid plot line from which the subplots depart. We find too many flashbacks that rather than enriching the narrative, what they do is divert attention from what is happening.
The second problem lies in the characters themselves. They are too few for there to be no excuse to properly individualize them and give them enough complexity, which is not the case even with the main pair. The bear battalion has the iron sergeant, the climb, the looser and the right wink. Too stereotypical, but on top of the rest of the soldiers they are interchangeable with each other because they don’t have any kind of development.
It’s something similar to what happens in The Hateful Eight. And that we are talking about a film written by a double Oscar-winning screenwriter. Tarantino limits himself to working with half of the characters, leaving the other four in narrative inopia. In a film with so few characters you can’t be so lazy as a writer. Something like that happens to Alberto Vázquez. It seems that all his attention was focused on the design of the characters that he forgot to fill them.
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Finally I think Unicorn wars it does not take advantage of its main aspect which is the “geek” of its approach. If you have a proposal as risky, as special, as unique as this one, take it to the limit. You can’t stay at half throttle because… fuck, what are they bears killing unicorns. There can be no measure in this. It is better to crash to go 150 km/h than not to pass third gear. Forgive me for the vulgarity I’m going to say, but a filmmaker can’t stick his toe. He must make it whole. If you’re a good lover, all the better, but if you’re a disaster in bed, make sure he chooses her for a whole week instead of forgetting her after five minutes.
This simile will be silly (and only for the movies, mind you), but it’s missing a Unicorn Wars. Alberto Vazquez, that I know you are reading me. Don’t be afraid of your cinema. We want more. We went to see teddy bears slaughtering unicorns. Don’t put honey on our lips. Your proposal is brutal and we want to see this on screen. Fuck the subtlety. Don’t give us methadone when the hard drug exists. Please don’t give us a straw, give us a bukkake.