For better or worse, I’m back to movie reviews.
Summary: Based on a book series, this film centers around Artemis Fowl (Ferdia Shaw) as a young genius, whose eccentric father disappears. It turns out, he was kidnapped by someone from another world. The fairy tales his father told turn out to be true when Artemis captures a fairy named Holly (Lara McDonnel). A potential war between humans and fairies must be stopped, and the fairy commander (Judi Dench) sends in a very tall dwarf named Mulch (Josh Gad) to save Holly…but the key to saving Artemis’s father may be closer than they think. The setting is in Ireland, with some nice visuals of the country. The story incorporates some interesting fairytale lore, a good soundtrack, and lively cast. Script is a bit much (a lot of explaining, and predictable lines) and overall a forgettable experience, but there is lots of potential if they make a sequel.
I went into this having not read the book series. I started the first book a long time ago (I was a young teenager I think), and the series just didn’t grab me. I’ve always respected it, since I know so many people love it. I appreciate the creativity of the author, and even if it’s not my cup of tea, it’s satisfying for LOTS of others.
That being said, I understand why so many people are giving this a low score. Even having not read the entire series, I could tell pretty early into the film that the story was taking a big turn away from the series. Not that the characters were totally different, or even the plot itself; the pacing is the big part. Book series can take time, and movies just don’t have the luxury of spending much of that precious currency- not like TV series can. This should have been a series. What Disney needs to do, is go forward with a show, not another movie.
Looking at the movie by itself, and not as a book adaptation, it’s creative and visually-interesting, but a bit messy. I read that the movie is based on the first TWO books…why? Why cram two books worth of material into a movie? Bad idea! Sometimes I like comparing movies to food. Sort of like when you have a guilty pleasure movie- you know you’re eating junk food, but you don’t care. This movies is that birthday-cake flavored ice cream. Ice cream itself is already sweet, then you add buttercream icing flavoring, and more sugar to make it a coma-inducing sugar bomb. This movie had a LOT of buttercream icing.
The things I did like were the characters. I liked pretty much everyone…and I think that’s one thing they got right. Even when movies or shows change a plot a little bit, but the characters are still good, then at least they’ve kept some spirit from the original source material. I especially like the Centaur character, Foaly played by Nikesh Patel. Everyone else was good too, and my second favorite was Nonso Anozie as Domovoi Butler.
I could see kids liking the movie, but introducing them to a book series is much better- have your kids read the books. If they like the movie too, great! I knew that people would not be happy with the film, because book adaptations are hard to do. And I don’t blame people…I’ve had my share of disappointments. But in the end, it might be a fun movie, but it would be an even better TV series. Still, the book series should hold the spotlight.