Chicken Run (U)
Not yet rated
Time Out saysThe last half-hour of Aardman's first feature is pretty much all one might expect. But as far as laughs go, it's slow to take off; and in terms of gags, characters and narrative, it lacks the freshness of some of the earlier films. This is The Great Escape with chickens, and herein lie the limitations. First, the fowl are neither as funny nor as well characterised as Gromit and Co. Furthermore, directors Park and Lord are so keen to get the PoW format pat that the film comes across as pastiche not parody. As Ginger tries to persuade Rocky, a Rhode Island Red, to help her fellow egg-layers escape from Tweedy's Farm (where a barbaric pie machine is being built) familiarity with the stereotypes may produce pleasure of recognition, but not consistent laughter. Still, it'd be churlish to carp about this triumph of craftsmanlike technique.