‘Artemis Fowl’ Review: Criminal Mastermind Leaves Us Wishing For More
Artemis Fowl seemed like it would be one of those fun Disney films to watch. The story is about a young criminal mastermind and it stars Colin Farrell, Judy Dench, Nonso Anozie, and Ferdia Shaw in the title role. Based on the book series by Eoin Colfer, the adaptation has been anticipated by fans of the books. Now, in full disclosure, I haven’t read the novels myself, but I expected that with this film, it would still give me enough information to understand who the characters were and what their motives were.
This turned out not to be the case, as the movie left me with more questions than answers. In the film, young Artemis Fowl is on the hunt for a secret fairy kingdom after his father is kidnapped in order for a mysterious figure to obtain an object called an Aculos. The Aculos is supposed to allow a portal to open between worlds but is extremely dangerous for humans to use.
In order to save his father, Artemis kidnaps an elf officer named Holly Short, who is looking to clear her deceased father’s name after he was viewed as a traitor. Eventually, they work together to try and save his father while also looking for the Aculos.
Now, this does sound like it would be an exciting plot. However, for every plot, you also need a backstory to really hook your viewers in. When I was watching the film, I expected to learn more about who Artemis is and what made him the genius he was. Unfortunately, this did not ring true and I didn’t glean any sense of who he was. Plus, Holly Short also appears to be an important character but her own story is quickly explained with little to no development of who she is outside of wanting justice for her father.
Unless you had a deep understanding of this particular world, you would have a hard time connecting with the characters. There seemed to be more focus on action rather than plot development. Sure, Josh Gad’s Mulch Diggums spends the entirety of the film narrating the events, but it’s difficult to truly ascertain who the main characters are and what really drives them. Yes, the search for a father in Fowl’s case and clearing her father’s name in Holly’s case, but other than that, we really don’t get to know them. Everything feels as though it moves too fast and too slow simultaneously.
Likely, if they were looking to make this into a series, they would continue to develop these characters. However, I would have liked to learn more about them and be drawn into their worlds and character journeys so that I am more inclined to watch the next films. Instead, it was difficult to really get to know them.
Without spoiling, there were some plot points that led me to believe they intended to continue the series. If they do go this route, it would have been better to develop the backstory of these characters. Would I read the books after watching the film? Yes, I probably would. But it would have been even better to get to know the characters besides just going to the books.
If they do make more films, they could find ways to develop the script to be even more amazing. This way, we really get to know the characters and not just have it be purely action-driven.
The film is available on Disney+ for viewing. Have you seen it yet? What did you think of it? Let us know and follow us @capeandcastle for more content!