Artemis Fowl (2020) A Review

Artemis Fowl? Or Artemis FOUL? My lord in heaven, I have seen some disappointing Book adaptations in my time (I was part of the Twilight generation), but this was unforgivable.

Certificate: PG

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Screenwriter: Conor McPherson, Hamish McColl

Starring: Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad

Genre: Adventure, Family

Runtime: 95 Minutes

Rating: 1.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

This films synopsis is super hard to sum up in a few lines but here we go.  Artemis Fowl is a obnoxious child genius, who spends most of his free time at home with his father, being taught all about fairies and the folklore of Ireland.  After his father mysteriously disappears, he discovers that all the stories his father told him were true, and now the fairies are coming after him because they believe his father stole an important artefact from them.

I never read the books as a child, I was more of a Harry Potter kinda gal, but from what I can make out from this plot, it would make a really great novel for older children.  But just because something makes a great novel, does not mean that it makes a great movie.  I don’t know how many times we have to be told this, but here we are, still sitting through unbearable book adaptions that should never have been.  The main problem here is that, like most first books in series this film is more of an information dump, than something that really focusses on the story.  There is far too much for the audience to learn about the fairy world and how it works, that it doesn’t really leave a lot of room for the very thing plot.

So the fairies are after this really powerful artefact that they suspect is hidden in Artemis’ house.  OK great, but whereas the rest of the time we are inundated with information, when it comes to this magical object of untold power….we know nothing!  Why is it important?  What does it actually do?  Why do some dark and nefarious forces want it?  Answering these questions would have given the story a richer story and a little background to the plot, but nope.  We don’t need to know any of that information.

Our young actors Ferdia Shaw and Lara McDonnell are both strong leads.  The interact well together and handle their lead roles well.  Even if at times, some of the lines they have to say are so cliché or ridiculous that it makes your eyes roll.  Seriously, there are some doozies here.  This script could have done with a serious re write.  And sadly we again see Judy Dench in a film that is so far beneath her that it is embarrassing.  I don’t know who is in charge of selecting what films she gets involved with lately but after the train wreak that was cats, I would have thought they would have been given the boot.  Apparently not.  What is even sadder is she is not even on top form here.  She flirts with about eight different accents throughout the duration of the film but never seems to want to pick one.  C’mon Judy, you are better than this!

So I cannot say in all honesty that this is a film you should see, but this is a description of what you can expect to see if your kids want to stick this on for family move night this weekend.

Artemis Fowl is streaming now on Disney+

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