'Artemis Fowl' Spoiler-Free Review: A drastically different take on Eoin Colfer's masterpiece
If you're a fan of the novels hoping for an honest-to-page adaptation, tough luck. But if you're just looking for cool visuals and Dame Judi Dench in a hilarious elf costume, this is the film for you
Years ago, Eoin Colfer penned a masterpiece of young adult literature, a book about a preteen criminal genius and his quest to rob a world of magic and wonder of everything they've got. Now that story is finally about to make the leap from page to screen. After decades in development hell, Kenneth Branagh's 'Artemis Fowl' is finally being released to the public. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the movie won't be making it to theaters and will instead be dropping on Disney+, which is fine since that's probably where the movie will find its takers anyway.
If you're a fan of the novels hoping for an honest-to-page adaptation, tough luck because there's practically nothing in common between the movie and its source material. Disney clearly meant to target an audience that isn't familiar with the books. However, if you're just looking for some way to kill an hour and a half with cool visuals and Dame Judi Dench in a hilarious elf costume, this is the film for you.
The Artemis Fowl of the books is often compared to a Bond villain or Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) from 'Die Hard'. He's an Armani-clad mastermind with not a single honorable bone in him, manipulating his way to the top. Compared to that, Ferdia Shaw's Artemis Fowl (through no fault of the actor, we're sure) is basically the kid from 'Home Alone'.
Almost all the characters are drastically different from their book counterparts and the plot is far tamer than Eoin Colfer's dark comedic narrative. At the end of the day, 'Artemis Fowl' is basically your average Disney adventure film but it's not that the movie is a complete waste of time. There are some really fun scenes and the visual effects are top-notch for the most part. Colfer's vivid image of Haven, home of the Fairies, is brought to life with stunning beauty and the action is well-choreographed, even if it may not be what we know from the books.
Whenever a popular book is adapted for the screen, the writers face a serious dilemma: create a beat-for-beat recreation or go in a wildly new direction. 'Artemis Fowl' is certainly in the latter camp and even though that might alienate the core fanbase, the film could still find its audience. 'Artemis Fowl' will be arriving on Disney + on June 12.