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Cinema

Artemis Fowl: How to Anger a Fandom

The obvious disaster and already a flop that is the live-action adaptation of Artemis Fowl has Walt Disney angering fans of the series even before it was released.

I would avoid spoilers, as per usual; However, in this case, it won’t really matter since the adaptation isn’t worth a second look, let alone finishing in the first place, at all. In the interest of those that would want to waste their time, SPOILERS AHEAD.

It’s easy to think that the movie had things going for it with a solid source material, Kenneth Branagh under the helm packing respectable movies under his belt, paired with stars the likes of Judi Dench, Colin Farrel, and Josh Gad.

It all faltered from the very beginning with an arrested Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad) as the character was tasked to spout exposition and set the ball rolling claiming “the infinite possibilities of magic,” which is just lazy screenplay to say the least.

At this point you’d probably be forgiven to continue with the movie except immediately right after you’d see Artemis Fowl (Ferdia Shaw) surfing off the coasts of Ireland, for absolutely no other reason than to fill the hour and a half of disappointments.

What follows afterwards is blow after blow of jump cuts from probably 5 – 8 hours of content which they couldn’t figure out how to use. Maybe if anyone actually bothered to read the source material they’d know what was Artemis’ main driving force that made him a formidable opponent against the People (umbrella term for fairykind.) The premise of looking into the supernatural was that he wanted to be the first human to exploit the People after losing his father as well as their riches to fund looking for his father in the first place.

Rather, what happened was a condescending brat that only sees Albert Einstein as his intellectual equal to indicate he is beyond what others can conceive; degrading his stature as a well-bred and respectable son to Artemis Fowl Senior.

At this point, you’d be forgiven to want to just close the movie and look for another. No one can blame you if you found it shallow and an obvious cash grab from a successful series. If you did choose to continue, you’d find yourself spiraling down Mulch’s innards.

The plot, as it turns out, is that a fairy has decided to snatch Artemis Fowl Senior (Colin Farrel) and that the ransom for his release is a macguffin called, always in hushed tones, “The Aculos.”

Thereafter, you will have nothing but 90 minutes of characters running around like headless chickens trying to acquire the Aculos in so many different ways such as the kidnapping of Artemis Sr., a “time stop,” calling Diggums to, well, dig his way through, an awkward and all-of-a-sudden alliance between Artemis Jr., Holly Short (Lara McDonnel), and Mulch against a troll.

This doesn’t even include how Commander Root (Judi Dench) had a gender swap on the production floor that undermined the relationship of Root with Short and how Short was the first female L.E.P. Recon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance) officer as a featured test case to allow future females to join the squad; all the while suffering a throat problem for absolutely no reason. Or how Foaly was reduced to an assistant that dismissed the fact that he was pivotal as the L.E.P. Recon tech genius who provided state-of-the-art everything including the pods they used to rocket to the surface or all the tech crammed into their suits. 

Apart from the fact that the movie does nothing to explain anything happening, it totally dismisses to support its initial claim of the “infinite possibilities of magic” where almost at every turn, science and technology drove the entire story save for moments of healing and activating the macguffin as deus ex machina that literally solved all of their problems.

By then you’d be hoping that the pain would end, but by the last few moments, you’ll find that the entire movie was meant to set you up for a sequel. The arrogant production of the live-action adaptation is asking for more of your money for a lot less of their efforts to make a halfway decent movie. You’d find more evidence of this with how the trailers included some actual scenes from the book as well as countless others.

It’s difficult to believe how so much money made something so repulsive.

Do yourself a favor and avoid Artemis Fowl: Artemis Fowl at all costs. It’s not even worth a glance in the Disney+ app. You’re better off elsewhere. You’re better off paying Eoin Colfer for the books over this monstrosity Walt Disney conjured.

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