The Barbie Movie Review is next for us at IndieGala. Why you might ask? Well, after the Barbenheimer cultural phenomenon that arise this July we figured it’s best to address at least one part of that particular cinematic phenomenon. Why Barbie and not Oppenheimer? Well, for one because it’s more fun. And secondly because we do have plenty of WB IP’s to share with you. And since Barbie is being distributed by WB, Barbie it is for us. Heck we loved the other WB IPs like The Batman (check it out here) so understandably, Barbie was a no brainer.
Oh and yeah. You can check out our Warner Bros Interactive games here. You’re welcome.
Barbie Movie Review: Barbenheimer For Great Summer?
Yeah, I think so. I mean what started of as Warner Bros Pictures’s spiteful, petty, vindictive middle finger to Christopher Nolan transitioned into a wonderful cultural moment in time. What was originally an attempt from WB to crush the Oppenheimer’s box office prospects, has proven to be the exact opposite. A marketing push for the movie that just made the audience even more curious. And frankly it made us eager to watch both of the movies that premiered this weekend. I mean who else would in the right state of mind would have Barbie and Oppenheimer to open in theaters in the same day? A true summer juxtaposition for us- the film buffs. More like summer delight i’d say.
Well, we have WB to thank for this brilliant move, as it’s giving us here in the northern hemisphere a reason to tolerate the unbearable heath of this summer. A reason to watch two cinematic polar opposites fighting for audience attendance. I personally embraced it, and enjoyed both of these movies. First, Oppenheimer on Friday and Barbie on Sunday evening. You’ll have to forgive me, but I had to take the Saturday off in order to recuperate from Oppenheimer’s crushing weight of the sheer cinematic excellence. Seriously. I think I found my Oscars 2024 favorite even from July 2023. But we’re here about Barbie, and Barbie alone.
So, What’s Barbie All About?
The Barbie Movie is of course… about Barbie (played by Margot Robbie). She and plenty of other Barbies are happily living in Barbieland. They’re successful, self-sufficient and confident, and of course beautiful. Ken (Ryan Gosling) and the other versions of Ken are equally content in their plastic bubble. However, thing will start go awry for Barbie. She’ll start thinking about her mortality, she’ll also start developing cellulite and her arched feet will become flatter than a stiff board.
Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon) will direct her to the real world in order to find the girl that’s playing with her and get herself out of this existential crisis. Ken tags along on this journey, and she’ll quickly realize that the real world is much harder to grasp. Ken on the other hand will find patriarchy there, and bring it along with him in Barbieland… And let’s just say there’s gonna be a conflict of ideologies. That’s putting it mildly.
Barbie Movie Review: Is Barbie Any Good?
Well, there are some good aspects to it. First let me start this review by stating that this is not a children’s movie. Yes, it’s about the iconic childhood doll we all grew up with, but very small children will likely not understand it. Now, let’s start with the positives, shall we? The performances from Margot Robbie and especially from Ryan Gosling are incredible. Gosling’s comedic timing is legendary, but over here he steals the show.
Quite literally. He’s just incredible, and I can see slew of awards coming his way in the near future. Seriously. He’s just that good. The production design is outstanding of course. Oh man. The set design is out of this world and yes. Deserves an Oscar so bad. The costumes and makeup are extraordinary and I gotta say. The costume and makeup departments of Barbie truly outdone themselves. A round of applause is very much needed here, because they did a phenomenal job.
And the rest of the movie?
Well, as a woman, a feminist and as a former child that played with dozens of Barbies, I don’t really get this movie. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciated the mother/daughter aspect to the story sure. It was a nice touch. Hey, I loved the 2001: Space Odyssey reference at the start if the movie. Heck, I loved the Barbie’s „fish out of water“ trope in the storytelling too. Especially in the moments where Barbie was trying to find herself and her purpose. And I even get Greta Gerwig’s basic intention for the movie. It’s intended to be a social commentary on the role of women in today’s society. But that’s the point. It’s not a social commentary.
It’s a preachy, condescending and weird movie that’s trying to address so many issues at once. And succeeding at almost none of it. First and foremost, my Barbie dolls never promoted an unrealistic view about the female body. They were just dolls. Secondly, the feminism I know is about equality. Here in the Barbie movie, the Ken dolls are stupid, useless, vapid, insipid props that just exists to be an arm candy to the more competent, smart and capable Barbies. Is that the message we want to give out to the new generations? God damn, here the Kens are those who are discriminated. And to top it off, Barbies got their dominance back through emotional manipulation? Smart. Really smart.
Too many characters, NOT enough character
Oh boy. There are way too many characters here. I never thought I’d say that out loud but there we are. I couldn’t even remember most of the Barbies and Kens, let along feel the impact of their purpose. In fact, I’m not entirely certain they had any impact. Or purpose for that matter. They’re just there. And that’s not exclusive to the characters in Barbieland. The real world has that same exact problem too. Will Ferrell’s character is not working for me. As someone who’s supposed to represent a character from the real world, he’s anything but. He’s too surreal to be from the real world. Heck, he doesn’t even get a name here. That alone would tell you how obsolete he and his Mattel corporate minions are to this movie.
They don’t really add to the story that much, and the humor in the scenes that they’re in, is not even that great. Seriously, if they’d be edited out of the movie, it wouldn’t be an issue. They’re that insignificant. Much like the rest of the male characters here. The mother/daughter dynamic in the Gloria and Sacha’s characters (America Ferrera and Ariana Greenblatt) is an improvement at times.
Yes, I’ll admit that much. There’s even an attempt to a story and character arch there, and an attempt to tackle the real problems for women in today’s society. Just pay attention to Gloria’s monologue. It’s probably the only honest thing about the movie. But those are just speckles of hope. The focus is given on Barbie way too much to let the other characters shine. Everything else is just that. A futile attempt to make an impact that’s not converted into action. You can say that about almost the entire movie really.
Barbie Movie Review: Should You Watch It?
I guess. It’s all the rage these days thanks to all the cool Barbienheimer memes. Also, there were a few men in the movie theater who watched it as well. Some even wore pink (more power to ya, because I couldn’t). Perhaps they were dragged by their children, wives or girlfriends, which I also understand. I would also argue that’s because they’re not the intended target audience. But as someone who is, I’d have to say it’s a bit disappointing movie. For a film that got so much hype and elevated expectations, it left me with such disappointment. How about you? Let us know what you think of Barbie. Did you like it? Or it was a dud?