(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Artemis Fowl)
Doug (vo; sighs): That was bad. Artemis Fowl. This is one of those films that was gonna be released on the big screen, but then the pandemic happened, and they released it on Disney+. Boy, did they dodge a bullet, 'cause, man...oh, man! I actually kind of feel bad for this movie. It has a great cast around it, apparently, the book series is really popular, it has a wonderful director, and, you know, it's Disney. They've done stuff like this before. They should be pretty good at it. But critics just ripped this movie apart, and I gotta say...they're right. Every time I tried to give it a chance or look at it like, "Maybe it's good from this point of view", no! They always botch it up somehow! It's, honestly, a little intriguing.
Story[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): All right, so the story, which is very difficult to tell, 'cause there's somehow too much of it and none of it at the same time, centers around a boy named Artemis. He has a father named Artemis...well, that won't be confusing...and they're looking for a device called the Aculos. Artemis and Artemis are looking for the Aculos...you starting to see the problem here? Artemis' father tells him stories about fairies and trolls and goblins, and naturally, he thinks it's all fairy tales. But one day, his father goes missing, presumably dead, and all of a sudden, all the news media's reporting that he's this big-time thief, stealing all these priceless artifacts. How did they discover this just a day or two after he disappeared? Oh, there's way too much other stuff to talk about to focus on little things like...reason. Artemis' butler shows him this world that, of course, he never knew existed but was under his nose the whole time. All the talks of fairy creatures are true, and it looks like one of them, the fairies, who are little people dressed in green, have pointy ears and funny voices, and spend most of their time in Ireland...I don't know why they're not leprechauns either...are also looking for the Aculos, which is just something really powerful that everybody wants, it's still a little vague what it does. And it looks like Artemis' father has been kidnapped, and the kidnapper tells Artemis if he ever wants to see Artemis again, he'll hand over the Aculos. So the fairies talk to Artemis about getting Artemis by getting the Aculos, that is to say, Artemis kidnaps one of the fairies and holds her in his house, causing the other fairies to put a time freeze over the house and try to break in to get her back. Their plan is to use a tall dwarf, played by Josh Gad, whose special powers are shitty CG and, I think, shitting CG...is he farting that dirt out? But Artemis is so clever at finding Artemis that Artemis lets the dwarf find the Aculos. Once the fairy and the dwarf see that Artemis has the Aculos, Artemis uses the Aculos to find Artemis, while the fairies are being taken over by...other fairies, who take away the fairies' magic inside so that when the butler is dying, she can't save him. But the fairies fight the fairies, giving the fairy her magic back, giving the butler his life back, helping Artemis use the Aculos to get Artemis back.
Review[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): And if you had a hard time following that, I can actually sum this movie up in one sentence: It's Harry Potter characters in Home Alone. Yeah, if you saw the trailer and you saw, like, magical creatures trying to get in the house, and you think, "Oh, that'll be, like, in the first third or something.", no. That's the entire movie. Don't get me wrong. We do see other locations, but it's mostly talking about how they're gonna break into this house. Even the guy telling the story is just talking about the grand adventure of just trying to get into this one house. This was a book? Even Home Alone saved that for the last third, it wasn't the entire movie. I mean, okay, there was Home Alone 3, but, okay. It's Home Alone 3 with Harry Potter characters! Yet, somehow, there's so much exposition, so much explaining, so much backstory, that they're trying to make it seem like this gigantic deal, but it's just Jupiter Ascending for kids! Way too much talking, not enough doing, and when they actually do stuff, it looks terrible!
(Several clips focusing on the film's visual effects are shown)
Doug (vo): I mean, look at these effects! These are pathetic! They're not that much different from that troll in the first Harry Potter movie, and that's, like, years and years old! This is the guy who directed Thor?
(Various clips resume showing, with some of them focusing on the characters played by Josh Gad and Judi Dench, and the film's title character himself)
Doug (vo): So, all right, you're probably wondering, what's to feel bad about in this movie? Well, everything feels like it's close to being something. Like Josh Gad telling the story. He has this really unique voice. Honestly, I don't think I would recognize him if I didn't see him. But he kind of goes in and out of it, like you kind of want to say, "Oh, we should do a Take 2", like you tell Christian Bale, "Hey, we should do a Take 2 on that Batman voice", but they didn't for some reason. Same thing with Judi Dench. Sometimes, she seems kind of interesting, and her voice seems kind of badass, but other times, it's just laughably ridiculous. Even the main character, Artemis Fowl, I kind of thought, at first, "Oh, this is gonna be a pretty good performance" 'cause he seemed very reserved and kind of like this super-genius, and I thought it was gonna be like The Social Network, where he was very calculating and kept everything inside and didn't show much emotion. But nope. There's several times where he's supposed to be afraid or happy or angry, and, again, really needed some Take 2s. It feels too chopped up, and, kind of like Dolittle, where there's a lot of scenes where someone's not onscreen, but you hear them talking and you know it was just dubbed in later, like they needed to make stuff more clear because it wasn't obvious enough, and that's very fair, there's too much going on and somehow nothing going on at the same time, so it is kind of hard to know what's important and what isn't.
(Several clips focusing on the character of Holly Short are shown)
Doug (vo): The only thing that came out of this unscathed is the girl playing the fairy. This actress does a really good job, I kind of wish this was her story and we were just following her throughout the whole thing.
Final thought[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): But nope. It's this overly-detailed epic story about leprechaun fairies trying to break into this Men in Black kid's house...they even have deneuralyzers in this. Yeah, they even use it on the eyes...God, is anything in this original? And as you'd imagine, it just doesn't work. It's definitely an intriguing bad, but it's not a "so bad, it's good" kind of movie either. It's mostly just hard to follow, pretty dull, and surprisingly not all that imaginative. I feel like I've seen this kind of thing a million times. Honestly, it kind of looks and feels like a Percy Jackson sequel. And it is a shame. There's a lot of good people involved in this, and even some of the newcomers, I'd love to see go on to other stuff. But if this is really the most epic thing they could put together, then "Fowl" is definitely the right title for this flick.
(A scene showing Artemis opening the Arculos is shown)