Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Artemis Fowl

In an age where every comic book and young adult novel is scooped up by a studio hoping to build the next big movie franchise, you can see why something like Artemis Fowl would be appealing. Originally planned for the turn of the millennium, the project spent nearly two decades in development hell at various studios before Disney was eventually able to heavily adapt the events from the popular novels to film. Maybe they should have taken a little longer.

Artemis Fowl is a mess. We're introduced to the brilliant teenager Artemis Fowl, Jr. (Ferdia Shaw), we know he's smart as the script continually reminds us, who discovers his father's (Colin Farrell) stories about magic and fairies are all true after Sr. is abducted by a mysterious figure who hopes to trade him for a mystical artifact she hopes Jr. can find (despite the boy having no practical knowledge of his father's secret life). Thrown into the mix are Lara McDonnell as a sort of elvish soldier and a giant dwarf played by Josh Gad who narrates the film by explaining events to authorities (often breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to the audience) in a vain attempt to keep the runaway train on its tracks.

One thing I'll give director Kenneth Branagh about his adaptation, it is rarely boring. Sure, many of the characters are unlikable, the special effects are a bit of a mixed bag, the magic of the faeries seems to be more science tech than actual magic, and the story has huge plot holes it completely ignores, but the train wreck on screen takes that all in stride. Judi Dench, Tamara Smart, and Nonso Anozie round out the cast of those who look like they would rather be anywhere else. It's hard to see Artemis Fowl as anything more than a perplexing, confusing, and occasionally entertaining missed opportunity.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Worst Disney movie ever it that thing having the name Artemis fowl is just mocking the books in every possible way