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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.14%
Worth A Look: 25%
Pretty Bad: 3.57%
Total Crap: 21.43%

4 reviews, 4 user ratings

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Arthur and the Invisibles
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by William Goss

"Sprite Zero"
1 stars

After crafting a career out of meaty action pictures such as 'La Femme Nikita' and 'The Professional,' director Luc Besson has decided to make his final film his first effort in the animated arena, and the resulting 'Arthur and the Invisibles' only reinforces the notion that his timing for retirement couldn’t be better.

Besson’s pet project from page to screen is a familiar tale frantically told, as young Arthur (Freddie Highmore, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) follows the hidden instructions of his missing grandfather to locate the Minimoys – a tribe of pixie-dwarf amalgams in his backyard voiced to varying degrees of embarrassment by the likes of Madonna, Jimmy Fallon, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Emilio Estevez, Chazz Palminteri, Anthony Anderson and Snoop Dogg – and their hidden treasure of rubies before mean old Mr. Land Developer claims the home of his grandmother (Mia Farrow, because The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby didn’t already prove her worthy enough as a guardian of minors).

The dialogue seems to have been dubbed in an effort to match the original French language track which is why everyone talksreallyfastlikethis, spitting out deadpan quips and pop culture references with wanton disregard for any sense of comic timing, and such an eccentric approach only distracts from an already derivative narrative, with an early battle bearing an uncanny resemblance to The Matrix Revolutions for an animated effort (it’s within this same scene that our Arthur manages to liberate a stationary sword from its stone; imagine that). Once past the slapdash mythos and contrived shenanigans of the puny protagonists – wherein Madonna hits on our teenage hero and Fallon aggravates as he did with his equally loquacious role in the barely worse Doogal – the solitary moment of respite arrives in the form of David Bowie voicing villain Maltazard, if only so weary parents in attendance can marvel at just how far their once-idolized Ziggy Stardust has fallen.

A lack of musical numbers and rumored cuts of nearly fifteen minutes can be chalked up to mercy more than anything else, as the off-kilter live-action segments attempt to beef up Farrow’s measly role while distracting from the animated portions, which are already about as soulless as such matters can get. In spite of the breakneck pace, the film always appears to be spinning its wheels because it’s all been done before, and better, from Honey, I Shrunk The Kids to last summer’s The Ant Bully. Any heart is utterly absent, and all humor is sorely misguided. Sure, the little ones will be occupied enough, but parents could most certainly do better when it comes to pacifying them with an animated offering.

It seems inevitable now, coming from Besson. His action outings are usually slick and efficient enough to forgive their human shortcomings; however, he is telling a story to which he’s personally endeared in a medium with which he’s inexperienced, and the result is hollow substance in shallow dressing. What a pity Rodriguez and Shyamalan couldn’t warn him that a story for his kids isn’t necessarily worthy of everyone else.

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originally posted: 01/04/07 19:10:52
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User Comments

8/16/07 Javier Delgado In the US, the love story and Selenias was edited out. Try to see the full version. 5 stars
8/07/07 javier delgado Excelent, but you must see the full film, not the censored US edition. 5 stars
4/25/07 Tiffany Losco awesome, I like the special effects the cartoon looked real. 4 stars
1/09/07 doink not as bad as the review above, but not very good either. my 5 yr old liked it. 2 stars
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  29-Dec-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 15-May-2007



[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  Luc Besson

Written by
  Luc Besson

  Mia Farrow
  Freddie Highmore
  David Bowie
  Snoop Dogg

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