Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Spirit Untamed Review: Horsing Around With Some Headstrong Heroes

Release date: June 4, 2021
Running time: 87 minutes
Starring: Isabela Merced, Julianne Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marsai Martin, Mckenna Grace, Walton Goggins, Andre Braugher, Eiza Gonz├ílez
Directed By: Elaine Bogan
Screenplay by: Aury Wallington and Kristin Hahn

An epic adventure about a headstrong girl longing for a place to belong who discovers a kindred spirit when her life intersects with a wild horse.  Lucky Prescott (Isabela Merced) never really knew her late mother, Milagro Navarro (Eiza Gonz├ílez), a fearless horse-riding stunt performer from Miradero, a small town on the edge of the wide-open frontier. Like her mother, Lucky isn’t exactly a fan of rules and restrictions, which has caused her Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore) no small amount of worry. Lucky has grown up in an East Coast city under Cora’s watchful eye, but when Lucky presses her own luck with one too many risky escapades, Cora picks up stakes and moves them both back with Lucky’s father, Jim (Jake Gyllenhaal), in Miradero. 

Spirit Untamed is a sweet adventure with a rambuncious rule breaker.  Lucky is a fun character to follow despite her constant destruction of what is around her.  And when she heads to the west, she really starts to let go.  The film has a good cast of characters for this adventure with Lucky's friends helping to teach her about life on a horse.  And her aunt and dad provide some nice advice, though less than I think you would normally expect to see from parents.  But overall you get a rebellious, rambunctious team of girls who will do what it takes for their friends.  And the girls themselves are fun to see as they have very different personalities and  backgrounds to help round out the cast.  This is really a group of individuals rather than a collective and it is great to see characters that young men and women can relate to.

Spirit Untamed is an animated film and the animation is hit or miss.  There are some really beautiful scenes of the countryside, but the characters themselves have a relatively simple style.  It is not bad, but just not as intricate as I would have expected.  This might be simply trying to keep up with the style of the previous shows and the cartoon, but it just was not overly impressive.  The animation felt more like a Saturday morning cartoon style.  And the story of spirit also feels a little like a Saturday morning cartoon, with a linear story that is simple to follow but also doesn't add much complexity.  There are not many surprises in this adventure.  It is not a bad story, just one that goes from point A to point B.  And finally, although I liked Lucky's character in the end, her character is a bit abrasive at the start of the film.  

Spirit Untamed rides into theaters with a fun, rebellious cast of characters and a story for equestrian and adventure lovers to enjoy.  

Rent it.

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Spirit Untamed is in theaters on June 4, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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