Wallace & Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf And Death (England 2008)

Rating: ***
Release Date: 11/21/09
Director: Nick Park
Cast: Peter Sallis, Sally Lindsay

Wallace & Gromit's latest business venture is baking, which is unfortunate because bakers are being targeted by a not-so-mysterious serial killer. Naturally, Wallace is the latest dim-witted target, and Gromit has his paws full trying to keep him alive and out of danger. Lucky for him, he also has help from a traumatized poodle named Fluffles, and together they triumph over the terrifying villain.

With each new Wallace & Gromit adventure, Wallace's moronic idiocy becomes harder to swallow, and one has to wonder why Gromit puts up with him. How can he possibly benefit from this abusive relationship? A technically impressive outing, this is the first Wallace & Gromit adventure to be shot digitally, and the results are very comparable to their earlier films. The story remains true to the established formula, which means you'll either love it or hate it. It works best when Wallace isn't involved and Gromit is doing his own thing, and the sinister scenes in Piella's mansion are the best of the bunch. Thematically, this could only come from Great Britain, since the plot would never be approved by hyper-sensitive and politically sterile Americans. I, for one, found its light-hearted audacity and sinister motivations refreshing, and can't even remember the last time I saw a villain dispatched in such a manner.