Tuesday 25 June 2019

The Grinch review: A new and unimproved version of Dr Seuss' classic tale

2 stars

The Grinch 2018
The Grinch 2018

Chris Wasser

THIS should have been a hoot — it’s the greatest Dr Seuss story of them all. And, with the guys at Illumination Entertainment producing (they make the Despicable Me films), we can only hope that, at some point, this noisy, vibrant film knew what it was doing. Sadly, the end product appears to have lost its way.

Based on the 1957 children’s story, this new and unimproved version of The Grinch begins where it always does: in a cave, overlooking the town of Whoville. Our grumpy, green protagonist (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) lives alone, with his canine companion, Max.

The Grinch hates Christmas, as you’ll know. And, this year, the residents of Whoville have decided to make Christmas “three times bigger”.

Naturally, the Grinch is enraged and, thus, hatches a plan to literally steal everyone’s Christmas. He’ll do so, by dressing up as Santa Claus, breaking into everyone’s houses and swiping their pressies. Unbeknownst to the Grinch, however, a young Whoville resident named Cindy Lou plans to stay up on Christmas Eve so as she can meet Santa. Guess how that one pans out.

Here’s a question: why hire Benedict Cumberbatch — a man with one of the best voices in the business — to play the Grinch, and then ask him to change his accent?

It’s a peculiar move, and I’m sorry to report that Fake American Cumberbatch brings

absolutely nothing to this film. Such problematic casting, however, is the least of our worries.

Underwhelming, unimaginative and uninspired, this cold and careless adaptation is severely lacking in the zingers

department. Very, very young viewers might find something to stay awake for, but the rest of us will wish that everyone involved had tried a lot harder.

Sorry, Illumination, but this is not the way to keep up with Disney/Pixar.


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