Artemis Fowl ⭐️½
Click the title above to read my review. I think it hits the low, er, high points.
You’ve probably heard by now that this straight to Disney+ film with $125 million budget is a stinker. Get yourself over to competing streaming service Netflix and watch Spike Lee’s insightful Da 5 Bloods instead, but if you really want to read why this movie sucks, stay with me.
Yes, Branagh and/or folks at Disney were potentially gun-shy about making a movie about a pint-sized villain who maliciously kidnaps a fairy to get fairy gold and restore his family fortune. We can debate the wisdom of that possibility, and how the choice to make Artemis into a more conventional Y.A. fantasy hero (including regular clothes, a traditional physicality and a mostly healthy relationship with his father) negated the very thing that made the Artemis Fowl I.P. worthwhile.‘Artemis Fowl’: Hollywood Keeps Making The Same Franchise-Killing Mistake
Ouch. First, the good reviewer warning.
… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …
The story is almost impossible to follow, the characters unlikable, the acting attrocious
But … the book series is good
I can’t vouch for the books because I haven’t read them, but have read plenty of people praising how great they are. And readers of this well-thought of series seem even more distressed about this movie adaptation.
Wouldn’t be the first, and sadly not last, time that good books are translated poorly.
Oh, that budget, that pesky, bloated budget
Whenever I see a terrible movie squandering a $100+ million budget, I think of all the amazing movies that have been done through history for a couple million or less dollars. Seriously, dozens of great films could be made for the same amount of money spent on Artemis Fowl (see: $100+ Million Movie Budgets Are Stupid)
Josh Gad is a bright spot, that should say enough
I’m not in the hate on Josh Gad actor club, but when he’s a positive as narrator of any film, that reinforces the narrative of those who do dislike his performances. Gad’s problem is he seems to be a one-dimensional actor with a really harsh, whiny voice. It grates on your nerves just hearing this guy talk. Here, however, his narration — somehow, some way — inexplicably works.
Remember Cats, yeah, then this?!?!, fire your agent Judi Dench
It’s official, I don’t want to see Judi Dench in another film any time soon as anything other than, well, Judi Dench.
Judi Dench is a great actress, but she’s been seduced by two foul scripts in the last year, both dressing her up as non-human characters. That abortive mess Cats and now, this. Judi, dear, time for a new agent if s/he recommended either of these garbage films.
Films like these will continue the unfair belief that streaming films can’t be as good as theatrical releases
Perhaps the worst part of this supports the notion that a movie that goes straight to streaming must by default be inferior. It’s the same diss on TV films being lesser quality than theatrical releases. There are plenty of awful theatrical releases and had there been no pandemic this film would have bombed very badly in theaters.
There have been some amazing, outstanding movies released directly on streaming within the last year. This isn’t one of them, unfortunately.
Reviews by Others
Enough of why I didn’t care for it, what do others think of Artemis Fowl?
- BecFlix Film Reviews: “…it’s story line is interesting enough for a quiet Sunday afternoon movie. It’s easy enough, and suitable for family viewing. It doesn’t make a huge impact, and probably isn’t a film that you would tell everyone to see. It’s easy going television, but doesn’t feel like something big hitting.”
- Clay Bones (1/5): “For a film that seeps mythical potential, you’re left wondering where the magic is. A couple of decades in the film draft room, and an audacious budget which surpasses the $120mil mark, you find yourself scratching your head due to what little they have to show for it.”
- Drew’s Movie Reviews: “…was OK. I can’t convince myself to say this is a bad film but it’s close. Even with a non-existent story, mediocre visuals, and pacing issues abound, I must admit that I had at least a little bit of fun. Not enough to revisit it again but enough to call it mediocre at best.”
- Fast Film Reviews / Mark Hobin (1/5): “I couldn’t decipher it. For the uninitiated (that would include me) Artemis Fowl is an impenetrable hodgepodge.”
- Film Planet (0/5): “…is one of the worst Disney live action films to have been released In some time (which is saying a lot given the live action remakes), being that it is an unfinished mess of a film with a cobbled together weak story, bad acting and characters that range from annoying, to bland to unlikable. There is nothing close to redeemable about this film.”
- Griff’s Picks: “Bland, incoherent and half-baked in just about every element, Artemis Fowl is ultimately a charmless, glossy and empty chore of weightless world-building.”
- Jeremy Greer: “They left the movie open for a sequel that it’s clearly not going to get, which just leaves you feeling even more unsatisfied by the end. I like what they were trying to do here, but they just didn’t make it work. If you want to follow this story, I’d suggest you just read the books.”
- Jordan Woodson’s Reviews: “Overall, this was a complete disaster of a movie and there is no way the books are anywhere near the quality of this or else they wouldn’t be as popular and beloved as they seem to be.”
- Keith & The movies (1.5/5): “Aside from the blandest storytelling and the most cookie-cutter characters, the dialogue is mind-numbing.”
- leebutler / Movie Meister Reviews (1/5): “This is pathetic even by Disney standards, and considering this was something I looked forward to after the trilogy of awful remakes from last year… I just can’t have nice things, can I?”
- Maz / The Nerds Uncanny (Grade: D): “Doing season instead of a 93-minute film would also have made all the information that’s thrown at us easier to digest. As is, “Artemis Fowl” is a chopped up mess that wastes an entertaining premise and an eccentric array of characters.”
- Moshfish Reviews: “a bad movie. It would have needed some real work to be great, but there is no reason it could not have been at least ‘good’. But as it stands, it just gets added to the pile alongside Eragon, Percy Jackson, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Dragonball Evolution, among many more, in the garbage pile.”
- Rattan Mutti / thedisinsider.com: “A film that didn’t do justice to its source material, its cast, or the fans of the material. It all adds up to what is truly a disappointment.”
- thehipsterllama / A Fistful of Film: “…there’s the me now, three days after having seen it, tasked with the herculean effort of writing about the piece of shit, and then there’s the me who, once they get started talking about the movie, has it all come flooding back to them like Vietnam flashbacks.”
- The Movie Giant: “…is an awful experience of unbearable length.”
- The Review Roundtable Reviews (0.5/5): “is one of the worst films I’ve had to sit through in my life. At 95 minutes, it feels like it’s over 2 hours. The only redeeming factor to this movie is if you watch it with a couple of drinks in your system like I did. And watch it with friends. You’ll likely have a great time picking it apart like we did.”
- The Super Powered Fancast: “Ultimately, Artemis Fowl fails as a movie because it takes too much of its runtime trying to setup a series.”
- Thoughts On Current Film / Joel Alexander (Grade: F): “This movie alone made me question the seven dollars I give Disney Plus every month; why support a company that releases constant drivel like this? Artemis Fowl is the true product of 2020, a soulless mess that gets progressively worse the longer it lasts.”
- Wizard Dojo: “Here’s a movie telling us that there’s a whole other world beneath the Earth, but almost all the action takes place at one building. Artemis Fowl kind of reminds me of Glass in that regard, a movie begging to stretch its legs but is shackled to one confined space.”
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Happy movie watching!