Artemis Fowl, the latest book to screen kid’s fantasy franchise builder, makes it’s way to Disney Plus this weekend and unfortunately the Eoin Colfer story can’t find the formula to become the immersive mythology that so many movie producers want it to be. And it never gets close to.
Ferdia Shaw plays the title character, who’s mysterious dad gets caught up in a danger involving mythological creatures which forces the son to begin his hero’s journey early to save his life. The adventure will take us everywhere as Fowl finds the answers to his father’s disappearance.
Honestly, you might not care.
The characters here are hard to like and our story is narrated poorly. We’re thrown into the deep end of the pool of this world with no real idea what’s actually going on. We’re never really invested in any angle of the movie and a lot of it is just goofy, even for a Disney children’s film and in other similar franchises where it’s been done so much better. Judi Dench is dragged into her second miserable movie in less than a year.
This is Disney, so everything looks great but that’s really where this praise has to end. It’s possible that this could have been done better but this is a Kenneth Branagh film and not even he could make this work. Maybe it needed a less complicated touch.
The pandemic pushed Artemis Fowl out of a theatrical release and into streaming earlier and that may have been a blessing for audiences that might not have the budget for too many theater outings this year. It’s just not very good.
Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes