Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Grinch - Review

It is only the second week in November, and yet another Christmas movie is upon us. Never mind the fact that it’s another familiar property adapted once more in hopes of capitalizing on the hopes of those awaiting Christmas, it just happens to be animated this time. The Grinch is far from a complex story, the book only covered 60+ pages or so, and the limitations show in a film that amounts to nothing more than a primer for the holiday season.

The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his loyal dog, Max, live a solitary existence inside a cave on Mount Crumpet. His main source of aggravation comes during Christmastime when his neighbors in Whoville celebrate the holidays with a bang. When the Whos decide to make Christmas bigger and brighter, the disgruntled Grinch realizes there is one way to gain peace and quiet. With help from Max, the green grump hatches a scheme to pose as Santa Claus, steal Christmas and silence the Whos’ holiday cheer once and for all.

And Benedict Cumberbatch does make for a good Grinch, offering his very versatile voice to the green grump. His grouchy nature is amusing beyond the necessity for his hatred of Christmas, and he gets a handful of genuine laughs. It’s far removed from the antics of Jim Carrey’s version, though somehow less animated. 

Thankfully, studios appear to have learned that the world of Seuss works best in animated form rather than somewhat haunting live action adaptations of the early 2000s. But despite the new medium, the story of The Grinch remains largely the same, as a surface level Christmas tale for youngsters and those starving for holiday cheer. The film does benefit from its computer-generated images through the ability to be even more imaginative than reality could possibly allow.

The Grinch provides a somewhat charming take on the familiar story, even if the only change is the style. Benedict Cumberbatch is good as the Grinch, though it’s hard to name a voice role he would be bad in. The kiddos will love it, but don’t expect too much beyond that.

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