We got some Kenergy going on over here. Just got back from seeing the Barbie film. Here we’re discussing the new Greta Gerwig live-action comedy fantasy, the Barbie movie, a film I was looking forward to seeing. I’ve heard great things about it. I got a chance to see it in theaters, and here we are talking about it in today’s Barbie Spoiler Free review.
The movie is about the stereotypical Barbie, played by Margot Robbie, as she tries to find herself by going out to the real and facing some real problems alongside Ken, played by Ryan Gosling. Ryan’s Ken has his own story going on in this movie.
But first, I want to talk to all the movie fans. Let me know if you were looking forward to seeing this film, and once you’ve brought your Kenergy, your Barbie energy, you have your swagger ready to see this movie. What did you think after walking out?
I’m talking pros and cons of the direction, the story, and the performances. Did you have a good laugh? Did you have a good cry? Were you disappointed by the film? Let’s talk about all that in this Barbie review.
Barbie Movie Review
So I want to be honest with you all, as I am with all my reviews, but for the 1st 15-20 minutes of this Barbie movie, I wasn’t enjoying myself. The jokes weren’t joking, the story wasn’t telling, and the vibes weren’t vibe.
I just found it to be super campy, over-the-top super metal, which I expected, but it was just too on the nose at points, especially when we’re in the Barbie world. And by the way, the set design was incredible, and we’ll talk about that here in a second. But it just wasn’t clicking for me.
But once this story found its rhythm and found its footing, this wacky, cheesy, corny, weird movie eventually grew on me. And that is all due in part to Greta Gerwig, who I consider to be a generational talent. Her brilliance is on full display in this film. I’m still in awe of what she was able to accomplish while directing this movie. Mixing in all the varieties of styles and techniques and the tone she’s dealing with.
Greta is dealing with campiness, cheesiness, and heartfelt moments. There’s a lot of stuff going on in this film from a tonal standpoint. And once again, Greta Gerwig is just amazing. I’m a fan of Lady Bird, the great coming-of-age story. Little Women a great retelling of that story, and this is an IP that we all know, even if you’ve never played with Barbie or Ken, which I’ve never played with them.
I’ve seen them in stores, and I’ve had friends have had them. This is a big IP, and she puts her own visionary style into this film, and we’ll talk about her writing a little bit later. But the direction was just incredible, in my opinion.
But also speaking of incredible, we have to talk about what I consider to be one of the greatest set designs I’ve ever seen. The Barbie world is like an identical replica of the toys. There’s a great mixture of practical sets with a little bit of CGI when needed. It is just a beautifully put-together movie, and when that time of the year comes around, when they’re handing out awards, hair and makeup set design, and production of this film, it is spectacular to look at.
Lead Characters Performances
But man, we got to talk about the perfect casting of Barbie and Ken, played by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. Focusing on Margot Robbie and her range, she is doing so many great things in his role. Bringing Barbie to life, managing to provide such an in-depth look at this character and brings out so many different things.
Margot’s character is tackling the meaning of life, the purpose of what she does, and where she fits in. She’s having this existential journey that she has put on. And it is one that is not only heartwarming but also profound. As we all know, Margot Robbie is an Academy Award-winning actress.
Rightfully so, she is great in this movie, like she’s doing comedy. She’s hamming it up, she’s having a good time, and she is the perfect version of Barbie, but then when it gets to those more vulnerable emotional levels, she gives home a run of her performance.
I mean, there were points when Ryan Gosling just stole the movie from me, like he is the perfect Ken. And the thing I love about Ryan Gosling’s Performances, he’s not playing Ken as a joke or an impersonation of a live-action version of Ken.
But instead, he brings all the Kenergy to this role, and he’s in this particular situation where he’s playing with the patriarchy and bringing that to the world that they live in, which has some interesting stuff that’s going on.
But then he has his moment of self-reflection that feels very earned and profound as well. And word on the street is we might get a Ken spin-off movie which there is a line of that in this movie. Again, there are a lot of meta jokes and meta-commentary in this film. But Ryan Gosling is fantastic in this movie.
Another thing that comes to mind is I really enjoyed this kind of Matrix type of explanation of how the Barbie world and the real world are coming to each other and crossing paths. It’s a really interesting way that they combine those worlds, as well as how they play The Mattel of it all. It really fits into the story well.
Supporting Character Performances
Now switching gears and talking about the supporting performances, the board from the supporting cast was fantastic. Stand out for me being Issa Ray. I’ve been a big fan of hers for a while. She plays the president, Barbie. She’s a great character, and she has some good laughs to be had in this film.
But also speaking laughs, my favorite comedy of all time is Super Bad, and Michael Cera’s been in and out of Hollywood the last decade or so, but he’s in this film. He plays a character by the name of Allen, and he’s a character that I had a fun time with. He’s kind of the eyeball out, and he has some really good one-liners in this film. So the supporting cast is fantastic.
If you are a fan of Netflix’s Sex Education show, there is a little trio of characters that put a big smile on my face as well as just some other great cameos that I really enjoy. So collectively, the supporting cast was given their all and given some fun performances.
The Direction And Womanhood
Lastly, I knew that this film, directed by Greta Gerwig, was also co-written by her and her husband, Noah Baumbach. This wasn’t going to just be your stereotypical surface-level summer film, but instead, it’s a very deep, thought-provoking story that handles subject matter such as self-discovery, loving the things that make you who you are, being the perfect idea of what a Barbie is something you shouldn’t strive for.
Perfection is just that of the same idea of this fantasy Barbie world. You can’t get perfection, but instead, embrace who you are and embrace your flaws because that’s who you are. I Love the message that the film has to offer.
Also, just from a male perspective, again, we have Ken. We have male characters in this movie, and I had fun with all that stuff and, you know, relatable topics to be had. But as far as the target audience is going from the female audience side of it, it’s a beautiful story involving womanhood.
There’s a portion of this that was very emotional, just kind of seeing these characters, these women, and what they were going through. And again, I’m clearly not a woman, but I just appreciated that element in that story that was just so well done in this film.
Cons In The Barbie Movie
So there’s a lot to be said about this in the positive life, but just as this film presents, nothing’s perfect. So let’s talk about some of the criticisms that I have for this film. One is, as I mentioned, the first 20 minutes or so didn’t really work for me.
But I did feel like the film did suffer from some pacing issues, especially when we were cut between the fantasy Barbie world and the real world. Some of that pacing had a little bit of an issue.
But also shine a light on the story elements, which sometimes felt a bit messy, and a little bit underdeveloped as well. As there were some characters who, in my eyes, were kind of set up to be very important to the narrative, and they had their moments, but they sometimes felt like they were forgotten about.
For example, we have human characters like America Ferrera’s character, and her daughter has a very pivotal role in this film at points. Like she has this monologue, which I thought was great, and it’s like a big, impactful moment in the film.
But then after that, she’s just kind of there and just kind of forgotten about. And there are these other characters in this film that were like, “Ohh, there is Allen, the president, and Ferrell’s characters,” but then it just kind of or forgotten about.
But going back to the mother and daughter story, I thought that plot, in particular, would remind me very much of Toy Story 3 meets Inside Out, but like a live-action version of that. It didn’t have a payoff for me. Like I really wanted that mother-and-daughter relationship to have a more impact will pay off for my taste.
But also some other things that come to mind, of course, comedies, which are very subjective, and I had some funny laughs or some social commentary with pop cultures, like guy stuff that I found to be funny, but I didn’t find all the jokes to land, but again, that’s very subjective.
The last point I want to make here is that I appreciate the message behind this film and the commentary that it had. But I’ll be honest with you sometimes it was a little bit too on the nose, and it was very kind of stereotypical how they would present certain things in certain ways that they would tell the story while touching on the social commentary they had to add.
Overall Review Of The Barbie Movie
Overall, while at times it is a bit too campy and wacky and weird at points, there’s no denying this final product. The artisanship was spectacular. Every costume, hair, and makeup in the production Design for the Barbie world was beyond my imagination.
The brilliance of Greta Gerwig is just so amazing to see, and how she was able to do so much with the story and play with these varieties of different tones. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling were born and played Ken and Barbie. Barbie has its flaws, but given all the topics and themes that it is handling, it’s a well-made movie. I can’t believe this Barbie movie actually exists, but I’m glad it does.
I’m going to give the Barbie movie a solid 3.8 out of 5, and there’s a little caveat, a little asterisk there on a rewatch. Because I do plan on rewatching the film cause I did have a good time with it. But now, kind of knowing the tone, the campiness, the wacky and weirdness, I can probably take in more of the film on a rewatch. So right now, it’s had a 3.5, but I can see that going up when I revisit this film.
As for “Is Barbie Better Than Oppenheimer?” It totally depends on you and what you like. Some might find Barbie very entertaining, while others will find it cheesy. Similarly, Some might find Oppenheimer very brilliant, while others will find it boring. I will see say watch both, enjoy and support the cinema. But hey, that’s my thoughts on the Barbie film. I want to know yours in the comments. Let me know your pros and your cons. What did you enjoy? What didn’t you enjoy?