Artemis Fowl: Review

I haven’t read any of the Artemis Fowl books, so I’ll only be talking about the film, and I don’t know how it compares.

Artemis Fowl is a children’s film, in the vein of a Harry Potter, with a very special child protagonist. In this case, Artemis doesn’t have magic, or special powers, but he is a genius, according to him he’s a genius on the level of Albert Einstein. Which brings us to Artemis’s second character trait that we learn, Artemis is a little shit.

In the first minute or two of this film we learn those two things about him, and the rest of the film serves to really add depth to those two characteristics. His genius is bolstered and reiterated, but lack of experience, and fear really show us is humanity, which begins to undercut the ‘little shit’ aspect of his personality. The truth is, just like most cockiness (as opposed to confidence) Artemis is masking his true feelings with an act of superiority.

For a kid who is supposed to be one part criminal mastermind, one part James Bond, he can be forgiven for being a ‘little shit.’

As the film begins, and we learn about the character of Artemis, we also learn about the world of magic and fairies, and the fact that Irish folk lore is mostly true, or at least rooted in truth. Fairies, dwarves, trolls, and centaurs all live deep under the Earth’s surface hidden from humanity to keep the peace. As we see the fairy society, we get to see that they have magic, but that they’re also deeply technological, advanced beyond the humans on the surface.

We’re introduced to Mulch Diggums, played by Josh Gad, who is telling the story of the film to a faceless MI6 agent (I think it’s director Kenneth Branagh’s voice) through a camera in a black ops site. Mulch is a giant dwarf, and the source of most of the humor in the film. If you’re not a Josh Gad fan, this part might be a bit too much like Olaf for you, where he doesn’t 100% fit the rest of the tone of the film, but I really liked the lightness he brought.

Look kids it’s terrifying Olaf!

The thing that I think really stands out about this film, is that it’s fairly different than anything I’ve seen before. The combination of magic and technology mixes in a way that I’m not sure has been done before, and the visual style is very cool. There were some effects and concepts that I would say were Wachowskian in their originality and style, like a sequence in which a ‘time freeze barrier’ stops working, and we see many of the fairies (the L.E.P. Recon squad) getting tossed and turned through the barrier.

I think overall, this is a really fun film, and would strongly recommend it. I have deliberately not gone into too many spoilers, because I really think this film deserves to just kind of take you in one minute at a time. It’s wonderfully paced, not too scary for kids, but enough adventure for adults.

Overall rating: A- (Would have been a solid A if it weren’t for one really cheesy line by Judy Dench, and I think you’ll know what I mean when it happens.)

TRAILER: Christopher Nolan’s TENET!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Before we get started I have to throw a controversial opinion out there: More often than not, I dislike the work of Christopher Nolan. I know what you’re gonna say “How fucking DARE YOU?!“. Well, put down your pitchforks for a second and hear me out. 

Director Christopher Nolan

     Without a doubt, Christopher Nolan is a great filmmaker. In fact, I’d go so far to say he’s the closest thing we have to a modern day Spielberg. Like Spielberg, Nolan is able to tap in to that formula of “Popcorn and Prestige“. Coined by Will Smith, “Popcorn and Prestige” refers to movies that are both critical and commercial successes. These are films that appeal to mass audiences, but also get serious recognition during award season. Nolan and Spielberg are the only directors I can think of that embody that idea more. Both filmmakers have a lot of Oscar notches under their belts, but those very same films are often huge audience hits as well.

    For me at least, when it comes to Nolan’s movies, The Dark Knight is where the line in the sand is drawn. Up to and including The Dark Knight, I really loved his films. However, after The Dark Knight, I’ve usually disliked Nolan’s subsequent movies. Except Dunkirk which is fucking awesome. I’d like to point out that there’s a big difference between disliking a film and thinking its bad. I’m not saying movies like Inception or Interstellar are necessary bad movies, they just didn’t work for me.

  Now, we have Nolan’s new film Tenet hitting theatres later this year. Starring John David Washington (son of the legendary Denzel Washington) and Robert Pattinson (soon-to-be the latest actor to play The Dark Knight Detective himself, Batman). Though he only has a few roles in major projects under his belt, John David Washington is a very talented actor and his star is on the rise. He’s best known for his work on the HBO series Ballers and his starring role in last year’s Spike Lee movie BlacKKKlansman. I have a feeling that if Tenet is a success (and let’s face it, with Nolan’s track record it probably will be), this will be a big breakthrough for Washington.

   Then there’s Robert Pattinson, anyone following his career at all over the last few years, knows that his talent lies far beyond playing a sparkly vampires in The Twilight Series. He’s currently getting rave reviews for his performance in The Lighthouse with Willem Dafoe. He’s a great actor who often gets unfairly written off as “the Twilight guy”. With Kenneth Branagh and Michael Caine set to appear in the film, at the very least Tenet has a pretty solid cast going for it.

  Like most of Christopher Nolan‘s films, details about Tenet are being kept under wraps. What little we do know describes a action adventure/thriller involving espionage and time travel, which sounds pretty damn cool. take a look at the trailer right here:

Tenet opens on 7/17/20

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-Paul