Platform: Disney Plus, Disney Plus Hoststar
Movie Rated: 13+
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Digital Premiere Date: 12 June 2020
What is the story about?
The story follows a 12-year-old prodigy who is tasked with an unimaginable mission to save his father from a dark force. The prodigal son teams up with his faithful butler, a dwarf, and a fairy in order to rescue his father, Artemis Fowl Sr. The film is based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Eion Colfer and it is directed by Kenneth Branagh.
Artemis Fowl had an amazing central cast, but the makers put them to shame with dog-tired writing. This film is another example of actors who chose a film that will add to their disaster list. If Colin Farrell (Artemis Fowl Sr.) had thought Daredevil‘s Bulls Eye was his worst on-screen appearance then I’m not sure how this would look on his list. This was followed by Judi Dench (Commander Julius Root) with that annoying rendered voice. Dench was extensively criticized for her furry appearance on the screen version of “CATS” and now this will top the list. Then we have the young prodigy Ferdia Shaw (Artemis Fowl Jr.), he had this rigid look the entire film with no room for expressions or performance. The film was already doomed with its weak central cast but the makers stuffed Josh Gad (Mulch Diggums) a dwarf who we see narrating the entire story sitting locked up in a prison with a made-up voice which didn’t suit the character at all. At this point, you start to wonder why the actors were asked to render a fake voice to their respective characters. In all this chaos there’s a cute little fairy whose wings are caught forcefully to underperform and be presentable to the PG-rated adventure, Lara McDonnell as Holy Short was absolutely lost in the chaos.
The promos were fancy and gave the impression that the film will be a blockbuster regardless of its direct to web release. But we were proved wrong and it came as a consolation that we didn’t have to shell out big bucks for an IMAX experience. I felt the comments on YouTube that came from the fans of the novel when the trailer was released were little harsh, but now I feel they had every right to lash out on the makers. Even though I haven’t read the novels but I can see that the film was way off its core subject. The screenplay by Conor McPherson and Hamish McColl was rushed, they cramped in too many things which exploded in no time. The film was based on the first two books of the novel series and one can easily deduce the injustice done by the makers to make a film which runs only for a short 1hr 35mins. Technically it’s highly impossible to convey so much in such little time. Disney has been in constant criticism for watering down the famous books to candy floss renditions in their respective screen versions and Artemis Fowl joins the list. The film did promise to give a Disney’s version of “Harry Potter”; unfortunately they couldn’t even come close to the “H” of the Harry. Artemis Fowl is reduced to eye candy than a credible start to what could’ve been a successful franchise.
Music and other Departments
The technical department, in contrast, was very strong and delivered what an adventure fantasy genre demands. The cinematography, editing, music and VFX were definitely spectacular but it didn’t help the film which had a weak screenplay.
Unfortunately, none, unless if you feel VFX counts as one.
A befuddled screenplay that was doomed right from the word, go.
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it and why?
I won’t recommend it.