Artemis Fowl, a young criminal prodigy, hunts down a secret society of fairies to find his missing father.Artemis Fowl, a young criminal prodigy, hunts down a secret society of fairies to find his missing father.Artemis Fowl, a young criminal prodigy, hunts down a secret society of fairies to find his missing father.
'Artemis Fowl' was a real disappointment. As an adaptation it's an abomination, one of the worst book to film adaptations there is in existence. Am not kidding here. It fares even worse on its own terms, despite what those that have defended the film say some that have hated the film have not read the books and saw it as fans of Branagh and Dench, my parents being among those people. Almost nothing works and Branagh has never been this uninterested in his directing in what is easily his worst film (those that disliked 'Murder on the Orient Express', didn't care for that myself while not hating it, will appreciate that film better after seeing this).
The least bad asset is actually the music score, which is actually beautiful to listen to, authentically Irish and lilting. Sadly it was one of those scores that were pleasant enough on their own but failed to fit within the film, this score sounded like it belonged somewhere else. The scenery also wasn't bad in parts but the photography generally is rushed looking and some of the images thanks to some very disjointed editing and garish lighting are quite ugly so that was wasted too. Any special effects are afterthought-looking.
Moving on further onto the criticisms, the acting is really not good. Ferdia Shaw is monotone and charisma-free throughout. Lara McDonnell has more perkiness but the character is very underwritten and bland on the whole. Colin Farrell is completely wasted. Josh Gad tries too hard is gets very annoying after a while, actually thought he didn't blend very well with everything else. You know something is wrong when Dench gives the least bad performance and still manages to give one of her worst performances, that affected accent and voice was not needed and she doesn't look engaged at times. At least she showed some signs of having command over her meagre material.
Branagh was clearly not interested in the material, as his direction throughout is uncharacteristically indifferent and phoned in. One would not think that he is a great Shakespearean director, and he did prove with his wonderful 'Cinderella' that he could do non-Shakespeare too, as this is quite inept. The target audience also felt confused, my mother was very unsure at who 'Artemis Fowl' was aimed at, children will find it hard to follow and it is too dull for adults. Even teens, the main target audience of the book series, will question the target audience.
Script is stilted and is too exposition-heavy (apparent right from the beginning with an over-explanatory narration), a lot of the film screeching to a deadening halt in the more talky sections and there are a lot of those. The storytelling is incredibly thin and not does it feel like a hodge podge of cobbled togther ideas it is all executed in a dull fashion and with little coherence, literally only one event happens. There is one action show-piece pretty much with a troll very late on but even that doesn't thrill and even the troll doesn't look that good. There is no character development whatsoever, nobody is given time to breathe, the villain is a non-entity and Artemis himself is practically useless. What little there is of the action is sluggish, incoherently edited and the sense of danger just isn't there. To cap it all off, the ending was a completely abrupt anti-climax.
In summary, very poor. 2/10
- Jul 13, 2020