By Brennan Atkins & Noah Barnes
“The Grinch” is yet another reimagining of the classic Dr. Seuss book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The film was directed by Scott Mosier – a producer for over 30 live action movies, and a director of none, and Yarrow Cheney, an animator for multiple Illumination features, and co-director of “The Secret Life of Pets.”
Benedict Cumberbatch is the Grinch, and the only noteworthy name in the movie.
Let’s see how this pans out.
This story of the Grinch is a retelling of the tale you already know. It adds a couple more characters, but they come across as tossed in comic relief.
Most of the laughs in the theater came from the slapstick, and not so much from what the Grinch was saying. The Grinch’s story has never been synonymous with comedy, although the Jim Carrey adaptation tried its best – and failed.
Illumination has never been known for stellar animation, and this film is no different. Its look is the same as every previous film the studio has churned out, with the exception of the hair and snow, which look pretty decent at times.
We aren’t saying that there shouldn’t have been comedy, but Illumination’s writing and jokes always feel like the exact same thing. It almost felt as if it was just to make the movie longer at times.
To be frank, the soundtrack is confusing.
The bulk of the music is to be expected – Christmas jingles and songs that seem to make their way into most holiday films.
That’s why it was a bit weird to hear two original songs from Tyler the Creator, and “BOOGIE” by Brockhampton.
While it didn’t entirely feel out of place contextually, it is weird to hear such artists in a PG film.
The other movies always painted Max, the Grinch’s dog, as a simple pet, and a bit of a downer. In this adaptation, he feels more like a best friend to the Grinch, or a partner in crime. This leads to some more lighthearted scenes and was probably one of the better decisions made.
With this and the recent announcement of the sequel to “The Secret Life of Pets,” it feels like Illumination is putting in just enough effort to make money and nothing else.