Film Review: He’s a Not-So-Mean-One in Remake of ‘The Grinch’

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CHICAGO – They should have left well enough alone, didn’t anybody learn anything from the trainwreck of the Jim Carrey live-action-as-The-Grinch? Apparently not. A more kid friendly and modern animated version of “The Grinch” opens six weeks before Christmas, and already I want to return it.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

It’s isn’t bad bad, it’s just ho-hum and lazy storytelling. It starts with the inevitable, and by this time bordering-on-satire hip hop version of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Tyler the Creator… because we all know that the kiddie target audience need hip hop 24/7. And then we hear the voice of new Grinch, and it sounds exactly like a Brit doing an American accent (stretch out those vowels!). It would have been much cooler if Benedict Cumberbatch has just done his natural voice. Oh well (“Ben, baby, we need this to stay an American film!”). At least it had a decent emotional connection at the end, but really in a source story of redemption how could they mess that up? It’s a clean one, Mr. Grinch.

Telling the main narrative seems silly, so it’s best to talk about the changes. Backstory, backstory, backstory and added characters sum it up. The Grinch (voice of Cumberbatch) lives on a mountaintop outside of Whoville with his dog Max, and dreads the coming of Christmas. Yes, his heart is too small, but that’s because he was abandoned as a child (gasp, never saw that one coming).

In his attempt to “keep Christmas from coming” his concocts an elaborate plan to steal all the merriment. A plush-toy-potential reindeer named Fred is added in, as well as a “best friend” named Bricklebaum (Kenan Thompson) and additional family for Cindy-Lou Who (Cameron Seely, with Mom voiced by Rashida Jones). The whole thing is narrated by Pharrell Williams, an odd choice, and the rest you pretty much know.

“The Grinch” opens everywhere on November 9th. Featuring the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Angela Lansbury, Kenan Thompson and Pharrell Williams. Screenplay adapted by Tommy Swerdlow and Michael Lesieur. Directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Grinch”

Grinch1
The Title Character (voice by Benedict Cumberbatch) and Max in “The Grinch”
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Grinch”

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