House of Magic Review

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Age Restriction:
Studio: nWave Pictures, Studio Canal International
Running Time: 85 mins

Verdict: 2 / 5

A house cat finds himself in the loving embrace of a has-been magician while the trained pets and tinkering gadgets don’t want to share the limelight in their magic show.

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In an typical American suburban neighbourhood a house cat seeks shelter after being abandoned by his owners. Scared and alone he finds refuge in an creepy looking abandoned house. He soon finds that it is indeed inhabited, but by an awful bunch of animals who don’t appreciate cats at all, a white rabbit, a mouse and some doves. Luckily the owner, a forgetful, partially retired stage magician, loves cats and adopts him, giving him a new name; Thunder. Much to the others’ dismay Thunder is placed in the magic show and introduced to all the magical contraptions, which come to life in a mass of gears, lights and smoke. The drama starts when the greedy nephew, a supercilious real estate agent, tries to swindle the old man. Luckily Thunder and the other animals come to the rescue.

The plot is quite brief, not very well explained and it’s hard to decide what kind of world it is. Sometimes it calls on you to believe it as a realistic place, but then other times it’s just unexplained magic and calamity. It feels like there is a chunk of film missing as there could have been more detail in how the magician brings contraptions to life or why Thunder was abandoned or why the rabbit is so bitter. Unfortunately it leaves you disconnected, lost in unpredictability and not connected to any characters.

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The 3D contents is immediate and engaging. Flying creatures and flinging gizmos often make you duck and blink. There are so many point-of-view shots of the characters fleeing dangers, exploring or chasing each other, that it’s quite marvelous and transports you into their world. It is rather fascinating and leaves one a little dizzy, but it’s a lot of fun.

It’s a mixed bag of fun animation and roller-coaster 3D content but shallow story-line and poor sound and script. The accents are tortured and are quite distracting and can become irritating. The film itself is a reflection of it’s theme, stage magic. Just like a magician’s show there are plenty of lights, sounds and mesmerising visual tricks but it’s all just smoke and mirrors with nothing of real value and the end of the 80 minutes.

You have to enjoy this movie in 3D, otherwise it’s not a worth while event at all. In the right frame of mind with kids who will enjoy it, it may indeed be quite entertaining.

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