Movie Review: Spiderwick Chronicles

The Spiderwick Chronicles (Widescreen Edition)It’s been a while since I did a movie review, so why not one for this fine Thursday? Watched Spiderwick Chronicles with Denisa and TRC the other day, and came away thoroughly unimpressed. Not that I was really expecting that much from the movie–everything I’d read about it said it was middling at best. But it’s YA fantasy, and I thought I might as well give it a shot.

Really, I think my biggest gripe with it was how disappointing it was. It had a lot of potential for greatness. The effects were pretty darn well done, they had some capable actors. It seemed to me that the movie turned out just how it was planned, and there’s the problem: it was plain old poorly written. Poorly designed. The money and attention went into the effects, and little time was spent on the story, IMHO. What’s the use of designing and creating a fantastic world, only to have what happens there be stupid?

How stupid?

Well, for one thing, characters consistently behaved like morons, making poor choices not because of any real reason, but because the plot demanded that they make those poor decisions. I haven’t read the books, so I don’t know if this problem is just baggage carried over from the source material, or if it’s because of some massive trimming to adapt the book. I tend to think it’s the latter, but who knows? All that’s important is that it doesn’t work. When characters are stupid, and everyone treats them as if they were smart, that’s a big Fail in my book. And when characters have Themes jammed into their actions, that pretty much sinks a movie. This was guilty of both.

Oh well. I guess the reviewers can’t be wrong all the time. 🙂 One and a half stars from me. Save your family time for something more worth while.

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