A new Grinch film features Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Doctor Strange) as the voice of the green, Christmas hating creature.
If you are expecting a something superior to the 1966 TV version from director Chuck Jones, with wicked Boris Karloff voicing the mean one, you will be highly disappointed.
This new version from Illumination Entertainment, the creators behind Sing, Despicable Me, gives the Grinch a new backstory, makes Cindy-Lou Who (voiced by Cameron Seely) even more altruistic and elevates the Grinch’s dog Max to new heights of fun.
Of course the critics hate the film, but this is major fun for kids and families. Music and dancing offers some fun moments as the creators skirt the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ.
The film is directed by Scott Mosier (yes, the Scott Mosier of Kevin Smith fame) and Yarrow Cheney (co-director of The Secret Life of Pets), who make the horrible mistake with Cumberbatch’s accent, making him sound more like Bill Hader than Mr. Karloff.
Most of the animosity for The Grinch seems silly, since the Dr. Seuss classic and Jones cartoon were essentially perfect. Trying to make this feature length is challenge enough, but adding so many nuances makes this a really tough hurdle for the creative team.
A lot of fun for the kiddies, but little for the older kids. The film gives parents a breather during the hustle and bustle of Christmas, but this is not a heart-tugging Pixar film – just fluff.
The Grinch gets 2 1/2 stars out of 5 stars
Children 4-8 will add 1-2 stars, as would anyone enjoying the Jim Carrey version. Those with lofting expectations will hate, no loathe, this film.
NOTE: Originally published at The Global Dispatch