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‘King Car’ review: Message gets lost in the chaos

Not for the entire family.

King Car kind of sounds like a family friendly movie. Things begin with a child being born in a car that begins to drive itself. Years later, the now teenaged Uno discovers he can talk with cars. He is even friends with the vehicle that saved his life. When the government passes legislation outlawing cars over fifteen years old, he works with them to change things. His decision soon leads to unexpected consequences.

It soon becomes clear that the Brazilian film is not for the entire family. There are deep social and political messages in King Car. The story uses cars to show the class divide that is found in society. While it is a neat premise and a mostly fun ride, it does not tackle its themes as well as it would like to. The characters in King Car are very engaging. Again, it is similar to an anime with its oddball characters and strange set pieces. All together, everything does a great job of drawing audiences into its world. It is easy to get caught up in the lore.

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It all may be a case of the production being too good. The people involved and the near-future Brazil of King Car often overpower the message the film is trying to get across. Everything from the cult that forms to the costumes and cars draw attention away. The themes become buried in everything else that is going on. Somehow, things become too chaotic even as they remain focused.

King Car is an odd movie. It is a visual spectacle that constantly impresses. Since the characters are appealing and the story is so outrageous, things quickly become style over substance. Normally, this would be a bad thing. While it does take away from the full impact, things still remain very entertaining.

King Car hits theaters January 7

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