September 6, 2005

The Brothers Grimm (2005)

I'll just steal the plot outline from the IMDb again: "In 1811, in a French occupied Germany, the crooks Brothers Grimm pretend to fight against evil witches and monsters to make money. However, they are arrested by Cavaldi (Peter Stormare) and General Delatombe (Jonathan Pryce), but they have a chance to redeem themselves in the village of Marbaden, where ten young girls have vanished. Will (Matt Damon) and Jacob (Heath Ledger) are guided by the local Angelika (Lena Headey) through an enchanted forest where they face the evil Mirror Queen (Monica Bellucci) that depends on the sacrifice of twelve girls in the eclipse to stay beautiful and young."

What a pile of crap! It's messily filmed, there is little attempt to make the brothers anything other than two-dimensional ciphers to the "special" effects (actually, they aren't all that special), and all the great fairy tales which could have been made so dark are just used as casual asides to the bigger and lamer story.

Well it's a Terry Gilliam film (you know that bloke who did the weird and unfunny cartoons for Monty Python) so what can you really expect? "Monty Python's Flying Circus" was never very funny either. It doesn't even have the great set design of something like "Jabberwocky". Pacing is all over the place, dialogue is stupid and pointless, and every so often it tries to be funny and fails abysmally.

I hated nearly every single second of this movie. What I was expecting was some kind of anthology of the darker Brother's Grimm Fairy Tales such as the real version of Cinderella (Ashenputtel) and such like. What I got was some kind of action adventure with some laddish northern bird with bad vowels (and filthy disgusting tattoos all over her in real life!) leading two pretty boy "heroes" into unfunny comic situations. Monica Bellucci looks nice though (but that's all she ever does in films anyway).

There's nothing scary, nothing sexy and, worst of all, nothing remotely memorable about any of it. It's just one of those films like "Wild Wild West", even down to the anachronistic gadgets, where you just can't wait for it to be over so you can watch something decent instead.

I'd give it 2 out of 10 for the first ten minutes with Gareth from "The Office" (the real one not the American version) swinging across a barn dressed as a scary witch. Other than that, this film is a total stinker.

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