Sunday, December 14, 2014

Movie Review: "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000)

Image Source

Movie"Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
Director: Ron Howard
Year: 2000
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Christmas is big business in Whoville. It is the most loved time of the year as the Whos flock to the store to buy presents and decorations for their homes. On the other hand, The Grinch (Jim Carrey), who lives on Mount Crumpet just outside of Whoville, hates it and everything about it. Not all the Whos are excited for the holiday, either. Little Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) is a bit disillusioned with the consumerism of Christmas and wonders what it's all really about. After being saved from falling in a wrapping machine by The Grinch, Cindy wants to learn more about him and looks into his past. She finds out that maybe he isn't as mean as everyone thinks and maybe he's just a little misunderstood. 


Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a well known and well loved story. In fact, the cartoon is one of our favorites to watch closer to Christmas day. It is also extremely short and has already been adapted to an equally loved animated film that has barely stretched the story to make it just under a half hour long. So, you can imagine what had to be done to expand a story with so little content in the first place. Even at an hour, this movie would have been too long, but to stretch it to almost 2 hours in length is just beyond ridiculous. Most of the gaps in between the filler are a slew of overly silly, even for a kid stupid and raucous moments where Jim Carrey performs his standard dopey shtick filled with awkward "funny" faces, crazy body gestures, and major sniveling. How much you enjoy this movie is, once again, contingent upon how much you like or dislike Jim Carrey as an actor. Most people think he is splendid in this role, but we think he is too silly and almost ruins the character of The Grinch as a whole. The rest of the movie is filled with story modification after plot change, all of which really twist the original meaning of Dr. Seuss' beloved tale. The Grinch is no longer just an angry creature with a small heart who hates the Whos because he's a crotchety old bastard. Now, he is a mistreated and shunned outcast who was driven to ruining Christmas by the unthoughtful actions of the materialistic Whos and a childhood romance gone wrong because of the bullying of others. WHAT?! The real villain isn't really even the Grinch in this film! Instead, it is Augustus Maywho (the older version of the character is played by Jeffrey Tambor), who teased The Grinch since childhood and has now become the Mayor of Whoville. The Grinch no longer needs redemption, he only craves acceptance.

Beyond the horrendous changes, BigJ thinks the make-up looks good, but I think all of the Whos look like weird mouse/human hybrids. At this point, I might be picking it apart based on how awful the acting and plot are, but I digress. We both agree that the sets look pretty cool, though.

There's no charm in this remake. There's no wit in the expansion of the adaptation. And most of all, there's no heart to be found. None at all. Shame on you, Ron Howard, for thinking that this movie is acceptable for children and adults alike. You have taken a perfectly fine short cartoon with a wonderful message and turned it into another Jim Carrey suck-fest. We will stick with the far superior animated version from now on.

My Rating: 3.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 53%
Do we recommend this movie: No.
One year ago, we were watching: "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"

No comments:

Post a Comment