Stolen Lyric, The: DVD

What obligation does a reviewer have to be nice? Straight up, this is one of the most grueling media experiences I’ve ever sat through. It’s the movie length equivalent of somebody flipping through the radio and making little flip book drawings illustrating the plot of the lyrics.

Okay, I’m not explaining the premise well. This is an animated film, a jukebox musical of a sort. The dialogue is entirely made of clips from songs, with the lyrics laid out in subtitles so the audience can follow along at home. It tells the story of a band, The Merry, and their singer Rob, and before you know it you’re watching a retelling of the Robin Hood legend as a rock opera about corporate suits and creative disputes.

Here’s the thing though: this whole thing is awful. The animation is limited, but really what’s more of a problem is the generic and amateurish character designs. The songs switch back and forth pretty immediately. Questions asked by the chorus of one song are answered by verses from another. Sometimes a song you actually like is played and you kind of wish the movie would just play that song for a bit so you can forget you’re watching a bad movie.

What this seems like to me is that somebody made an off-handed joke and then went way too far with it. An hour and forty-nine minutes of this presentation is a brutal chore. Dialogue goes back and forth, seemingly endlessly. Conversations that would last seconds in other films take minutes here. Some of it is bloated dialogue, but sometimes it’s a sound clip being longer than it really deserves to be. It’s not that I think it could be better, but that this whole idea seems like a misguided venture from the start. Also, every character is white. Why? –Bryan Static (chasepetergarrettson.com)