Thursday, August 23, 2018

Movie Review: "The Little Mermaid" (2018)

Director: Blake Harris
Year: 2018
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

An old woman tells her granddaughters the story about the time she met a real-life mermaid.

"You don't believe, so why should I tell you the story?" (Image Source)
For those of you who are wondering, no, 2018's "The Little Mermaid" is not the inevitable live-action remake of Disney's animated classic. This is a low budget reimagining of the original Hans Christian Andersen story directed by Blake Harris and Chris Bouchard. It serves as the feature film directorial debut for Harris, though Bouchard has one other feature film credit in the 2014 film "London's Finest." The film begins with an aged woman (Shirley MacLaine) reading the story of "The Little Mermaid" to her granddaughters. She then tells them a different version of this tale about a young, sickly girl named Elle (Loreta Peralta) and her uncle Cam (Moseley), who is a journalist, and the experience they had as they set out to investigate reports of a real-life mermaid. Cam intends to find out if the rumor is true, or if it's all a big hoax inspired by mass delusion.
"There's a powerful magic in you." (Image Source)
"The Little Mermaid" is a film best suited for a Saturday afternoon in October courtesy of the ABC Family channel. This kind of makes sense considering the movie's writer, Blake Harris, has one other feature-length writing credit to his name: the ABC Family original "12 Dates of Christmas" starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Amy Smart. Everything about "The Little Mermaid" screams "made for television," from its overly simplistic and completely contrived story, to its early 90's looking set designs, to the mediocre performances, to the generic Party City costumes, all the way down to its subpar special effects. The story is derivative of many others we have seen before, so much so that it does nothing new to the point where I nearly fell asleep in the theater while watching this. We rolled our eyes multiple times and had zero emotional investment in any of the characters or what they are trying to accomplish. The only 'saving grace' moment (if you can truly call it that) is now, children who watch this will have had the pleasure of seeing Gina Gershon deliver a horrendously over-the-top Southern accent and won't have to wait until they are old enough to watch "Showgirls" for that experience.
"What would it be like to be with him? To actually have legs?" (Image Source)
Despite all of the contrivances and conveniences, "The Little Mermaid" still isn't the worst movie we've seen in 2018, which is saying something considering we have close to 30 contenders for our year-end worst of the worst list thus far...and it's only August. We're sure there are at least a couple of kids who may enjoy this, but we're not sure their parents will be able to handle sitting through it since there's almost nothing redeemable in it for adults. It feels more like an episode of the 90's TV series "Goosebumps" or "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" than it does a 2018 cinematic feature. The only reason this was released in select theaters at all is that the filmmakers were likely hoping unaware moviegoers would mistake it for a Disney live-action remake and/or a re-release of the animated version from the 1980's. Skip this television-esque version unless you're under the age of four.

My Rating: 2/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: ~4.9/10
RT Rating: ~20%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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