Director – Kenneth Bran
Distribution – Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad, Nonzo Anosy, Colin Farrell, Judy Dench
Trust Disney to turn a story about a master criminal into a complete father-son fable. But that’s exactly what Mouse House did with Artemis Fowl, I suggest (and hope) to the sound of Kenneth Bran’s protests.
In an effort to make up for lost time during a decade in which the film was stuck in hell of development – a decade in which fans of source novels grew up far beyond their love of books – Disney and Bran (maybe together and maybe not) decided to make the film a more ingenious experience. So you thought maybe the movie would appeal to kids who may never have heard of Artemis.
Look at the Artemis Fowl pendant here.
The Artemis Fowl books, often described as Die Hard with Fairies, were a refreshing alternative to the Harry Potter series – almost ruthlessly obsessed with their antiheroes and very, very funny. But Artemis Fowl’s film bears little resemblance to the novels of the writer Ein Colfer, and he changes the most important details with such anger that as a fan of Colfer’s books I have to wonder if Branagh and Disney liked them.
To discover the existence of fairies, you need Artemis, a 12-year-old heroine of the plot, in a 95-minute film to discover the existence of fairies, or 40 minutes of screen time. That’s the information he already has on the front page of the book. Artemis in the film is still a genius, but more importantly, he is not an evil genius, which made the character so irresistible in the beginning. By robbing it of its redeeming bow, the film also deprives itself of any real bet, with the exception, of course, of the never-ending threat that can be found in almost all mainstream blockbusters these days.
In the film Artemis is played by newcomer Ferdia Shaw. Artemis is not motivated (as in the book) by the desire to restore the lost honor of his family by kidnapping a fairy and demanding ransom, but by the mission to find the missing father, who according to him has been kidnapped by magical creatures. His father is a notorious criminal, who is only mentioned in passing, but who appears in the film as a sideline.
To this end, Bran and the writers Conor McPherson and Hamish McCall adapted the structure of the novel itself. Maybe because they thought Artemis Fowl wasn’t pretty enough, they hired Colin Farrell to play his father, designed new scenes in which only two of them are connected, and killed them in shootings. I think Farrell got the equivalent of the bird’s fortune for just a few days of work, most of which included his struggle to escape the limitations of sticky magic.
Nonso Anosy is Butler, Lara McDonnell is Holly Short, Josh Gad is Malch Diggams and Ferdia Shaw is Artemis Fowl in Artemis Fowl Disney.
Photo by Nikola Taube
The main participant in the film was the character of Mulchi Diggam (Josh Gad), who was mainly limited by the comic relief of the book. It not only appears as the secret weapon of the fairies in the second half of the siege, but it also tells the story.
It is customary when modifying films to make changes to the source material, especially the kind of cosmetic changes that Disney often makes in its films. But it all has to make sense. For example, we can understand why writers changed the gender of Major Julius Ruth. Judy Dench, described in the book as a cigar-smoking, humorless elf who hasn’t laughed out loud in 200 years, plays in the film The Root in a room so far away that it seems as if Dench is constantly wondering if she missed her plane.
But take the decision to change the race Artemis Man Friday House Butler – a Eurasian bodyguard from the books of the film plays a black actor, Nonzo Anosy. Has anyone ever thought of that? What message are they trying to send by giving a rich white child from a landowner’s family a black servant who is literally being raised to take care of him?
By insisting on the fact that Butler is not called Butler, as was the case in the books, but at home, the filmmakers think they have given a desk a largely obedient character. And by hiring Anosy for the role, they said they brought variation in casting. But, boy, that sounds like a numb tone.
Also read: review the movie Aladdin: Will Smith does magic in Guy Ritchie’s Disney movie
It’s no secret that the only reason the Disney company decided to release the movie Artemis Fowl – a $125 million tennis bar formerly positioned as a franchise – directly through their streaming service is that the movie simply wouldn’t survive the theater market. This tangle is an incoherent, badly written film and one of the most disappointing films of Klein’s directorial career.
It shows when a plot is the only thing that is well done in films of this size, because it is the only thing that is too expensive.
Author Twitters @RohanNaahar