Artemis Fowl (Sci-Fi, Family, Adventure) (2020)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Hamish McColl, Conor McPherson, Eoin Colfer (Based on Novel by)
Stars: Ferdia Shaw, Josh Gad, Lara McDonnell, Judi Dench
When the highly intelligent child prodigy Artemis Fowl Jr.’s father is kidnapped by a mysterious villain, he sets out to uncover a fantastical underground society not known to the world as of yet.
Based upon the teen book series written by Irish author Eoin Colfer, ‘’Artemis Fowl’’ could very well be Disney’s next long-running franchise with eight books to adapt to film. That is if it can be adapted successfully and to positive critical appraisal.
Direction has to be on point, as especially the first movie has to set the tone and be liked enough by fans and critics alike. Personally, with a director/actor such as Kenneth Branagh aboard who has been working with Disney before in films such as ‘’Thor’’ and ‘’Cinderella’’ it’s difficult to imagine this film being a flop with the experience of Branagh and so much material to work with. A name like Branagh’s is also backed by the ample star power of Judi Dench and Colin Farrell, who in turn are supported by the comedic tones of Josh Gad. In combination with the fresh faces of Ferdia Shaw and Lara McDonnell, Veterans set the groundwork for this next, potentially big project which is seemingly a cross between Men in Black, Spy Kids and the traditional fantasy/sci-fi tropes we know and love.
Recognisable features and an unknown setting and plot for people like me, who haven’t read any of the books could be alluring; sadly, I was quick to discover that the movie adaptation of Colfer’s book series was anything but recognisable for both parties. Whether you’ve read the books or not, you’ll be dumbfounded by a script that seems to be cobbled together by someone who’s heard about the books but never actually read them, introducing the known characters yet taking a lot of creative liberties.
Budget, star power and sentimental value seem to mean nothing to Disney as this teen-oriented family film fails to capitalise on every factor stated and leaves both audiences of the books and newcomers to the series baffled by what is happening onscreen. It takes itself too seriously with forced comedy and overdone drama, ‘’Artemis Fowl’’ makes the wrong assumption that everyone will understand what’s going on and will be engaged with the movie and it’s characters, while it feels lost and aimless with many characters speaking like they’ve been smoking for decades ‘’Artemis Fowl’’ is underdeveloped with entirely unlikable characters, to be a blemish on Branagh’s directing record.
Fowl play for Disney (Cut me some slack with my verdict puns…)