Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is an extremely fun and light watch that has loads of laughs that anyone can enjoy.
One of the most well-known comedies in film history is Blazing Saddles. Featuring an absolutely hilarious script and daring direction from Mel Brooks, it is rightfully one of the most quotable and iconic movies to ever be released. Released in 1974, this film is about a corrupt politician who appoints a black sheriff in a predominately white and racist town. You might be thinking, what does Blazing Saddles have to do with a children’s movie? Nickelodeon’s latest movie Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is actually based based on the same premise, as, like Blazing Saddles, it’s able to take some of the same fish-out-of-water humor and dial down the profanity completely, making one of the most entertaining family movies to come out all year. The film is based on an adorable dog named Hank (Michael Cera, of Superbad) who tries to pursue his dreams of being a samurai in a world of cats, and audiences are introduced to a wide range of unique and hilarious characters that are sure to make everyone chuckle at least once. Throughout Hank’s journey to become a samurai, he is eventually trained by an aged samurai (Samuel L Jackson, of Spiral) who is reluctant to take him under his wing.
One of the biggest strengths of Paws of Fury is its plethora of characters and the skilled vocal actors behind their fur. From Michael Cera, who perfectly matches the innocent look of his character, to Ricky Gervais, who has a pitch-perfect voice for the annoying and antagonizing villain that he portrays, the vast cast is put to good use throughout this short 90-minute runtime. On top of these leading characters, there are a lot of smaller vocal appearances that are just strong which including the talents of Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once) and Djimon Hounso who both elevate what could have been stereotypical side characters that we have seen in children’s movies for years into something that is genuinely funny to watch.
Speaking of comedy, Paws of Fury is a total riot. There’s around one joke a minute and the majority of theim land really well. Since there are so many opportunities for laughs, the jokes range from fart one-liners to even jokes about predisposed judgments that cats make on dogs that could be aligned with some social commentary. This range is what really makes the film so entertaining. It isn’t the same type of jokes again and again, which could have gotten tiring and made Paws of Fury boring. A good mix of slapstick humor with light banter and more is the real savior of this movie and is the main reason why this is such an accessible and fun film.
Since the film is so much fun, there isn’t room for much else besides comedy, unfortunately. There really isn’t a strong lesson to be learned besides “don’t judge a book by its cover,” which is already in hundreds of family films already. On top of this, there isn’t really a lot of emotion or heart present that would make you care about the characters much more than thinking that they look cute. This ends up hurting the movie, especially in the end when there are more risks involved for some of the characters, but it doesn’t stop you from just being along for the ride.
With that being said, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank still makes for such a fun time. It has everything you could want in a family movie. From the action-packed plotline to loads of comedy that is sprinkled throughout the film, this is the definition of fun for the whole family. This movie, while not perfect, definitely delivers and is soon to have thousands of kids wanting to be the next Hank, even though he’s just an adorable dog.
Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank will be released globally in theaters on July 15, 2022.
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