This movie has its heart in the right place but it never quite manages to work out as a magical and captivating viewing experience as well.

This basically is a poor man's version of "The Odd Life of Timothy Green", which already was a far from perfect movie, with plenty of problems. It tries to be a magical and charming movie, without featuring the right type of story or characters. But yes, also story-wise this movie definitely shows similarities to the live action Disney movie "The Odd Life of Timothy Green", in which a child has magical powers and has to save her dad's factory from shutting down. So not the most original story imaginable but I feel that it's also the type of story that would have worked out better for a children's book for instance, that would have less trouble capturing a certain atmosphere and tell it's story in a more effective, magical way.

Because the movie gets told mostly from the perspective of the children, the movie also feels a tad bit too simplistic and childish at times. This approach also means that the movie for most part has to rely on the acting abilities of the young children. Generally speaking, most kids aren't very impressive actors though and that unfortunately goes for this movie as well. Both the humor and characters fall mostly flat because of that at times. Maybe it also would have been better for the movie if it featured 2 or 3 strong adult leads in it. Now all the adult characters feel like secondary ones, which is understandable and no doubt also intentional, seeing how this is a children's movie but it's not anything that works in the movie its own interest.

I also really don't know if young kids themselves would actually enjoy watching this movie. The story maybe is a bit too serious for that at parts and the movie also lacks some good comedy and magical or likable enough characters. Who knows, maybe in the hands of a better and more experienced director with children's movies it all still could have worked out. It definitely seemed to me that director Richard Elson was struggling at times to bring any magic to the screen and to tell the story in a both fun and compelling enough way.

And really, the elements and ingredients to turn this into a fun and charming little Christmas movie were all still there. It also means that the movie isn't the most terrible one to watch and it still has plenty of quality in it but it never quite makes use of all of its potential.

The lack of some good enough fun and the absence of some true magical charm prevent this movie from being a holiday must-see. No, not even Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson (who both have bit parts) can lift this movie up.


Watch trailer

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
Newer Post
Older Post

No comments:

Post a Comment