The Book of Life: Movie Review

As dark as its premise may sound like, "The Book of Life" is the complete opposite. The film is a lively romp through majestic fiestas, colorful vistas and a rocking sound track will keep you upbeat throughout the whole film. Also, "The Book of Life" never fails to keep your attention not only with its lively nature but with a hilarious script that will keep you laughing from start to finish. While the story may be formulaic to a tee, everything else is something new to experience.

"The Book of Life” tells the legend of Manolo (Diego Luna), a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest in order to reunite with his one true love and defend his village. Manolo, Maria (Zoe Saldana) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) – three best friends – have been close since childhood. Too close in fact that Manolo and Joaquin are in constant battle for Maria's heart. Two ancient spirits take notice of the peculiar bond the three have and put on a wager on each guy. Xibalba (Ron Pearlman), ruler of the Land of the Forgotten, chooses Joaquin while La Muerte (Kate del Castillo), ruler of the Land of the Remembered, chooses Manolo. Xibalba, on the verge of losing the wager tricks and kills Manolo. Now, as Manolo descends into the afterlife, he must find a way to not only get back and get his one true love but also save his town from destruction.

"The Book of Life" brings a unique visage to an otherwise convoluted genre. The Latin American inspired visuals is something to behold and refreshing to experience. Colorful, bright and heartfelt, the visuals are what truly mark "The Book of Life". It is its best trait and the film is all too proud to show it off. While the visuals may take gold, its soundtrack is a close second. The film is littered with musical numbers throughout its run time with a mix of pop hits (in Latin renditions of course) and new songs to boot. The song numbers in particular are memorable and some, like Radiohead's Creep, turn out to be hilarious too. It is this magical twist of hilarity that makes "The Book of Life" enjoyable. The script is greatly funny and the voice actors delivery on it on most scenarios. Finally and unfortunately, the only downside from all of this is the formulaic nature of the film, while given its Latin American inspirations, still feels being in the "been there, done that" territory.

Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- extremely funny script coupled with great voice acting
- stunning visuals

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the story is formulaic

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