'Missing Link' released to rental outlets this week

Annapurna Pictures

Hugh Jackman and Zach Galifianakis in “Missing Link.”

Hugh Jackman has been successful in acting jobs from the stage to the big screen and from action films (“Wolverine”) to musical films (“The Greatest Showman”).

Recently he tried his hand at animated films, bringing his character Sir Lionel Frost to life in “Missing Link,” which was released to rental outlets this week.

At 8 feet tall, 630 pounds and covered in fur, Mr. Link (Zach Galafianakis, “The Hangover” and “Due Date”) is funny, sweet, and adorably literal, making him the world’s most lovable legend.

Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link recruits fearless explorer Frost (Jackman) to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La.

Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight ( Zoe Saldana, “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Avatar”), our fearless trio of explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril as they travel to the far reaches of the world to help their new friend.

Through it all, the three learn that sometimes you can find a family in the places you least expect.

The movie didn’t seem to bring in the crowds at the box office in April, ranking just ninth in its opening weekend, grossing just under $6 million according to the website Box Office Mojo.

But critics have given it high marks.

On the website Rotten Tomatoes, the Tomatomer, which is a rating of movies by the critics, shows the film as “certified fresh” at 89 percent.

Top Critic David Sims with “The Atlantic” said, “Amid the noisy, epic action of most kid-oriented features, this film’s story is clear and effective: a sweet-hearted narrative of how friendship can broaden one’s horizons.”

But not every critic was mesmerized by the film.

Top Critic Adam Graham with “The Detroit News,” said, “The minute details of the stop-motion animation (film) make ‘Missing Link’ come alive, but Laika films need to let their freak flag fly. ‘Missing Link’ is only at half-staff.

Directed by Chris Butler, the film is rated PG for action/peril and some mild rude humor.

Other films released to rental outlets this week include:

n “Alita: Battle Angel,” directed by Robert Rodriguez and staring Cat Merritt, Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz and Jennifer Connelly. When Alita (Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past.

This film is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action and for some language

n “Hellboy,” directed by Neil Marshall and staring David Harbour, Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich and Sasha Lane. This action packed story sees the legendary half-demon superhero (Harbour) called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants. There he discovers The Blood Queen, Nimue (Jovovich), a resurrected ancient sorceress thirsting to avenge a past betrayal.

The film is rated R for strong bloody violence and gore throughout and language.

The synopsis from each movie is taken from rottentomatoes.com.

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