The much anticipated but troubled production of the 10-sentence Maurice Sendak children’s story Where the Wild Things Are is a movie which like its story, throws logic out the window. Imaginary adventures and imaginary creatures are the excuse for what is a complete logical and narrative mess of a film.
Given that the book contains only 10 sentences, director Jonze would surely be automatically be given carte blanche to interpret the tale in his own way. No doubt, his film adaptation is darker, but only because adults can hardly follow his line of reasoning.
Max (Max Records from The Brothers Bloom) is a lonely kid. He is sent crying to his room after his built igloo is smashed by his sister’s friends. When his mother (Catherine Keener) ignores him when her boyfriend (Mark Ruffalo) visits, be bites her (I would bite my mother too if she brough a boyfriend home and not serve me dinner) and takes off on a boat to an island where monsters crown him king.
Jonze makes no effort to connect one segment to another. The igloo scene is set in winter. The next scene has all the snow gone and Max running off with some silly animal suit on. And where did the sea come from? Is Max staying in a coastal town? Oh – I must have forgotten that all this is supposedly imaginary. But when does the imagination start? Or end? The handheld camera and annoying music combines to make Where the Wild Things Are look like a patch work which understandably, studios will not want to touch and people may not watch even for free online.
When Max finally meets the monsters, the film really goes downhill. The live action, animations, CGI and other special effects can hardly help at this point. The dust-ball fight that Max and the monsters engage in for no reason is supposedly the high point of the movie. When will it end?
Thankfully, Max suddenly sails home, mother hugs him and all ends well only because he has had some monster adventures. Ugh!