The Fairy, The Ice King, and The Dreadful Narnia Rip-Off (The Nutcracker and The Four Realms review)

Well, it’s no surprise to hear that Disney’s mega budget CGI fest of a Nutcracker film is utterly dreadful. When it was first announced, it baffled everyone. Why on earth were Disney funding a live-action adaptation of the iconic Russian ballet? The answer, they weren’t. They were actually making a dull, predictable story under that banner, so they could use some iconic classical music to hide the death of their originality. And boy does it stink.

If you think Tim Burton films are over-the-top, then prepare to have your eyes utterly burnt. The design of this film is ludicrously over the top, and though the production design is probably the best part about the film, it still gets boring very quickly. The story follows Clara who, after the death of her mother, stumbles upon a bizarre world (that is never remotely explained). Just like Narnia, she travels through a door from her world to the other before discovering all sorts of quirky characters.

It’s now that I must mention the performances. Every single one is utterly dreadful. Mackenzie Foy, playing Clara, shows no sense of wonder to this utterly ridiculous world she’s stumbled upon. Morgan Freeman was clearly brought in for two days of filming just so marketing could cram his toffee-voiced narration into the trailer. Jack Whitehall and Omid Djalili play two ‘hilarious’ guards with very little chemistry, and Richard E. Grant was utterly wasted as the ice king.

However, by a country mile, Kiera Knightly is the worst thing in this film. Words cannot describe how horrible her performance is. Her character, the Sugar Plum Fairy, has THE most annoying voice I have ever heard. It’s like a patronising baby sucked on a helium balloon, and then over-dubbed all her lines. Not only this, but her character’s motivations suddenly change halfway through the film in the most ridiculous attempt to add a twist to the story.

And speaking of the story…WHAT EVEN WAS IT? The motivation of Clara is to find a key that opens an egg, but it actually powers a machine that creates a tin-soldier army, and along the way she has to fight a giant mouse made of hundreds of tiny mice and encounter six bouncing pillow clowns. It’s just ludicrously incoherent with no justification to its insanity, and the whole film, at only 99 minutes, drags throughout.

I implore you, don’t see this dull and predictable CGI fest. The performances are genuinely some of the worst I’ve ever seen and the story is nigh-on none existent. When you go to the cinema, you want to be entertained, relaxed and hopefully with a warm heart. Instead, I left the cinema bored, irritated and genuinely annoyed. Don’t let that happen to you.

2 Stars

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