Kenneth Branagh's Artemis Fowl is a trash heap collection of unforgettable moments strung together by wooden performances across the board. There is a reason Disney ditched this film's theatrical release and opted for the quiet Disney+ approach.
Director Kenneth Branagh slums it in his latest Disney collaboration Artemis Fowl, a foul (get it?!) film that stinks up the room almost immediately after the credits begin to roll. Artemis Fowl is boring, unimaginative and poorly cast, with almost every single on-screen presence reduced to a grumbly mess, meanwhile star Ferdia Shaw struggles with carrying the weight of this poorly-conceived world on his not-so-capable shoulders.
Artemis Fowl Jr. (Shaw) is tasked with hunting down a powerful artifact among a secret society of fairies in attempt to rescue his father, Artemis Fowl Sr. (Colin Farrell). The rest of the film really doesn’t matter nor make much sense, because the film spends less time trying to develop these characters and more time trying to create endlessly boring (and CGI-ridden) set pieces that look and feel cheap and add virtually no good to the film’s overall likability.
I was worried about this film before sitting down to watch it, mostly because it has been plagued by endless release date pushes, not to mention an eventual dump onto the streaming platform Disney+. Still, I try to only see the good….which was hard to find after viewing multiple trailers and clips that all painted this one out to be a disaster.
Still, I love being proved wrong and I’m generally a fan of Branagh’s work, not to mention Colin Farrell in a supporting role that allows for scene chewing.
Artemis Fowl doesn’t take advantage of any of its assembled talent and instead reduces all parties involved simply to names on a poster that once needed selling, but now can quietly be dumped onto a streaming platform that probably will make up for this film’s budget and wasted marketing materials in a few short months.
Unfortunately, that is the way of the world and for once I don’t feel too bad for the creator or the representation of art in the form of moving pictures. Artemis Fowl is an awful film. One that feels uninspired, cheap and is generally painful to sit through.
I tried figuring out if it was the overall story, the direction or the characters and the performers backing them, but I ultimately decided that every single aspect of this film is a trash heap waiting to be burned and forgotten.
Ferdia Shaw tries to make being Artemis cool and fun, but ends up delivering one of the worst big-budget performances that I have seen in years. This film was clearly too much for him to carry and I almost feel bad writing these sentences, because I wish no ill will on the actor, but can’t say one positive thing about his dull and lifeless performance.
Josh Gad weighs in with the film’s most annoying performance, with the full-on smokers cough as he provides most of the film’s voiceovers with a grumbly presentation that resembles Christian Bale‘s later Batman and John Connor characters. It’s awful and distracting and adds nothing to the film, not to mention the overall character is just a chore to watch.
The writing falls flat as most of the film exits the brain immediately after entering. I’d be hard-pressed to tell you what the film was about and I literally just got done watching it a mere 30 minutes ago.
I don’t enjoy writing such negative reviews anymore, which is why I will wrap this one up as quick as I can. Artemis Fowl is easily one of the worst films that Disney has put out in years. It’s not much calling it one of the worst films that I have seen this year (I haven’t really seen much if I am being completely honest), but I would go as far as saying that it is one of the worst films of the past decade.
Most of that is in relation to the talent involved and the overall delivery of the product. This isn’t a first-time director with an entirely new cast or a studio that doesn’t know how to deliver something entertaining. This is from seasoned workers within the field that seemed to have all taken easy paychecks on something that displays not an ounce of heart or at the very least, interest from a creative mind.
Artemis Fowl feels like the laziest film Disney has put out in ages and I sure hope that it isn’t a sign of the type of content that we can come to expect to see on their Disney+ platform.