The Grinch starring Benedict Cumberbatch is a pleasant and well-made film but doesn’t beat its predecessorNovember 9, 2018
MY FIRST thought when sitting down to watch this was ‘Why do we need another Grinch film so soon?” before my creaking brain reminded me that the Ron Howard/Jim Carrey version was horrifyingly 18 years ago – which is a longer gap than the one between Return of the Jedi and the Phantom Menace!
Still, I left the cinema not sure the question had been legitimately answered.
The film is an animated remake/reboot of the book and original live action movie.
For the uninitiated, we are in Whoville the week before Christmas and the Grinch (self-extrapolated from the community) hates seeing the festive cheer in the town (for reasons tbc) so sets out to ruin it for everyone.
Only the accidental meeting with Cindy Lou Who, trying to meet Santa for her widowed mother could possibly melt his heart etc.
It’s perfectly well made, with all the tricks, bits for the older audience and emotional touch-points we all now expect from an animation, but does tend to lose some of the spitefulness and quirks along the way.
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It’s little things like The Grinch’s teeth. He’s traditionally an ugly character with yellow, rotten fangs yet here he’s been given the Colgate treatment. Give the kids a few nightmares Hollywood – it’s good for them. Same goes for the residents of Whoville – they’re too cutesy.
If I didn’t tell you it starred Benedict Cumberbatch as the green lump of misery, you’d have no idea – same goes for it’s narrator (Pharrell Williams) and so on. That isn’t to say they aren’t good, they are – it’s just… it doesn’t really matter – they could have been anyone.
I can understand the business rationale behind this film and by the final act I was having a lot of fun and came out enjoying it, but whilst this will bring a whole new generation to Dr. Zeuss, it’ll take something with a bit more oomph for it’s predecessor to bow out disgracefully.