REVIEW: Artemis Fowl
Premiering today on Disney+ is Artemis Fowl, based on the popular book by Eoin Colfer. The movie was originally intended for theatrical release, but due to COVID-19, Disney decided to make it a Disney+ exclusive. To be honest, I had read the book and enjoyed it, but the marketing for the movie left me a little cold. However, I found myself enjoying this film. And, maybe more because it has become a Disney+ film. The lofty expectations have somewhat been lowered placed on a smaller, but warmer and more welcoming media.
I have heard people grumbling about the movie because it didn't meet their expectation of the book. I understand as people want their childhood classics to match what they have had in their heads. But, as somebody who's memory of the book is spotty at best, I really did find it fun to watch.
The movie stars Ferdia Shaw as the younger Artemis Fowl along with Lara McDonnell (Holly Short), Josh Gad (Mulch Diggums), Collin Farrell (Artemis Fowl, the father), Dame Judi Dench (Commander), Nonso Anozie (Domovoi Butler) and Tamara Smart (Juliet Butler).
Artemis' father, a world renowned criminal mastermind, is kidnapped and it's up to the younger Artemis, a criminal mastermind himself, to save him. The kidnapper wants an item called the Aculos which is an item of great importance to the fairy world but could destroy the human world in the wrong hands. His man friday Domovoi shows Artemis his father's work, telling him that his father's reputation is muddled in the reality of him trying to keep the world safe from fairy kind.
So, in order to save his father, the devious Artemis kidnaps a fairy named Holly Short, a LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance force) cadet. At first, we don't know why. But, as all stories go, Artemis has a plan and somehow knows they will release a giant dwarf named Mulch to make his way in and break into a safe which is where the Aculos is being held. The group, however, finds that the work together to ultimately achieve their goals.
Cast MVP goes to Josh Gad. His Mulch Diggums was a scene stealer. I honestly didn't recognize him in the trailers because he speaks in this gruff voice, so different from his high pitched Olaf of Frozen fame. Mulch also serves as the narrator, telling his story while being interrogated in a prison. Although, I'm not quite sure why he was in that prison.
And, you have to love Dame Judi Dench in whatever she does. She appeared to be having a gruff voice off with Gad, though. And Lara McDonnell is refreshing as Holly. Actually, in my mind, I pictured her older. But, I thought it was fun to have a younger actress playing a young fairy in her 80s. Her relationship and the trust she builds with Artemis seem more believable.
What I found most fun about the movie was all the fairy technology and lore. Colfer really did a wonderful job in creating this mythology and I feel writers Conor McPherson and Hamish McColl and director Kenneth Branagh brought it to the screen quite nicely. I know there will be those who vehemently disagree with me.
Now that this has moved to Disney+, I do hope people will watch Artemis Fowl. I would love to see this become a franchise exclusive to the streaming service. Only time will tell. Will you be watching it this weekend?