Weak writing weakens ‘Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken’

Weak writing weakens ‘Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken’

“Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” is currently in theaters. (Photo courtesy of Universal Studios) “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” has the distinction of being the first black light movie. Unlike the posters where vivid colors can only be seen with a black light, this film embraces those hues through the animation. The use of the overly saturated colors is not the only thing the film shares with those visually primal posters. The by Director Kirk DeMicco (“Space Chimps”), Brian C. Brown and Elliott DiGuiseppi has as much depth. It tries to be a champion for family values, the fight against teenage bullying and self-discovery but it all gets lost in a film that struggles to find direction and everything falls flat. Ruby Gillman (voiced by Lana Condor) is a 16-year-old who desperately wants to fit in at Oceanside High School. That effort is stalled because she finds it's better to keep a low profile as she and her family are all Krakens. This is not the “release the Kraken” creatures of “Clash of the Titan” fame but just an ordinary family with blue skin, gills and fishy looking ears. The big joke – taken from countless other productions – is they explain their odd looks by saying they are Canadian. It is bad enough they use that old line of , but it gets repeated. Do Canadians describe all weird people as Americans? As part of her “normal” life, Ruby is math-tutoring her very human crush (Jaboukie Young-White). Despite the fact the Kraken family has decided to live in a coastal city, Ruby is forbidden by her mother (Toni Collette) from going into the ocean. One dip under the waves can trigger their real Kraken forms which are towering sea creatures. A series of unfortunate events leads to Ruby taking a plunge and she discovers her true nature. Life at school looks even more lonely until she makes a friend in Chelsea (Annie Murphy), who is the new popular student. She also happens to be a Mermaid. She convinces Ruby to help her on a quest to recover an […]

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