Thursday, December 06, 2018

The Grinch (2018)

There’s a part of me that didn’t want to write this review.  I wasn’t sure I’d have much to contribute that a hundred people haven’t said before.  This is The Grinch, after all.  Between the book and the coming attractions, there won’t be too many surprises in the movie.  Aside from which, it’s not like I get many page views anyway.  I’m not sure this review will be the deciding factor for a lot of people.

There’s also the compulsive part of me that has to write a review.

The Grinch follows Dr. Seuss’s basic story pretty closely, from what I can tell.  (It’s an 86-minute adaptation of a relatively small book, so there are going to be a few embellishments.)  The Grinch doesn’t like Christmas.  He decides to steal Christmas from Whoville by stealing all of the presents and decorations.  In the end, he realizes the true meaning of Christmas.

I’m not sure why we need another adaptation.  There’s the 1996 version, with Boris Karloff.  There’s also the 2000 version with Jim Carrey.  There’s even a 1992 version that I hadn’t heard of.  The problem with calling the movie into question is that I risk seeming a little grinchy myself.  However, it does seem like a pretty safe movie to make, especially right before Christmas.

This version makes the Grinch not so mean.  We even get a little back story as to why he is what he is.  Benedict Cumberbatch plays him as someone who just doesn’t like people, which is understandable to anyone who has had to deal with a lot of people.  He’s the personification of that impulse to just stay away from everyone.  (It’s sort of like that Mark Twain quote, “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”)

I went into the theater wondering if it would be a cash grab, but it was a fairly good production.  It might be bearable for most adults, but it’s definitely going to be enjoyed more by the children.  This movie comes across as a viable alternative to the 1966 movie.  I think the older version is going to come across as dated, especially considering that it’s over 50 years old.  I could definitely see a TV station or two playing this version for Christmas next year.

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