FILM REVIEW: THE NUTCRACKER & THE FOUR REALMS (12A)
SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, MACKENZIE FOY, JAYDEN FOWORA-KNIGHT, EUGENIO DERBEZ, MATTHEW MACFADYEN, RICHARD E GRANT, MISTY COPELAND, HELEN MIRREN & MORGAN FREEMAN
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 39 MINS
DIRECTOR: LASSE HALLSTROM & JOE JOHNSTON
‘Nobody wants to see a Christmas movie at the start of November’ . . . is what I would say if I weren’t just a tad bit obsessed with all things Christmassy!
My birthday is even on Christmas Day.
Please excuse me for saying the most offensive C word there is THREE TIMES in just two sentences. Despite being obsessed myself, I know a lot of people aren’t so I shall try to avoid saying it for the rest of this review.
In this retelling of the classic story (which is nothing like the classic story) The Nutcracker and the Four Realms sees Clara (Played by Twilight’s Mackenzie Foy), a young mechanical genius who is mourning the death of her mother, Marie, from the original Nutcracker story.On Xmas Eve (see how I avoided the ‘C’ word?), she’s given a mysterious egg shaped ornament that her mother wanted her to have. The problem is, there is no key to open it.
Cue the Godfather (Morgan Freeman, who sadly does no narrate this movie) who is holding his annual festive party. It is here that Clara is lead through a portal to a magical (Narnia-esque) world where she can find her missing key – but not before saving the four realms from Mother Ginger (played by Helen Mirren), who has gone mad with power.
There are scenes in this movie that get goofy, where the jokes are clearly aimed at a young audience – leading me to believe at first that this was their demographic. But then there are moments that are really dark and could genuinely terrify those kids. I have no idea who this film was made for?
I also felt sorry for some of the talent involved in this movie! Hellen Mirren is given some awful dialogue – and even an incredible actress like her can’t hide a look on her face that screams: ‘What did I sign up for here?!’ Richard E Grant is unrecognisable in a costume that looks like it was made for a school play. It even covers his face . . . perhaps at his request. Jayden Fowora-Knight is also so forgettable, which is crazy considering he is the Nutcracker – the title character!
In addition, there is Keira Knightley who plays the Sugar Plum Fairy – played out much like Carol Kane’s character in Scrooged. Some will find her a little annoying – but actually, I was fine with it. She was one of the few characters that actually seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Mackenzie Foy steals the show as the stories’ protagonist. She is a great little actress who is very likeable – but not even she could save a film that is as hollow as the Nutcracker dolls.
To avoid this being too critical, I will say that Disney did a great job with the visuals.
The movie is very stunning to look at. But if you’re looking for a movie that is something more than just pretty – you probably won’t find it with this uneven fantasy tale.
Rating: 2/5 - Mikey Clarke
More by this authorSpalding Today Columnist