Film Review – Artemis Fowl (2020)

Disney’s “Artemis Fowl”, based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he seeks to find his father who has mysteriously disappeared.” – Disney+ Channel.

Review – contains spoilers

Nonso Anozie is Butler, Lara McDonnell is Holly Short, Josh Gad is Mulch Diggums and Ferdia Shaw is Artemis Fowl in Disney’s ARTEMIS FOWL, directed by Kenneth Branagh. Photo by Nicola Dove. © 2020 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Artemis Fowl premiered on the Disney+ channel on Friday 12th June. As I understand it, this film was meant to be released at the cinema, but due to the world’s current Covid19 Pandemic, Disney decided to release straight to their Disney Plus channel.

This film is getting really bad/poor reviews! I have a few issues myself, but nothing to those who have read the books. We haven’t so I have nothing to compare but I’m getting a vibe from the reviews that this to them, is how a Stephan King movie is to me, after reading one of his fantastic novels a complete let down.

My review is based on no prior knowledge of Artemis Fowl.

First of all, it scared my 8-year-old. He got upset when the dad was kidnapped, and scared the troll was going to eat everyone, but what I think did it for him, is the voice of the dark fairy. It was pretty evil, and I can see why he covered his ears.

The film’s just under 2 hours long, I think I may have nodded off near the end and my son started fidgeting halfway through, so didn’t keep either of our attention, but that may be because we got a bit confused.

Lara McDonnell is Holly Short in Disney’s ARTEMIS FOWL

It wasn’t that clear that Artemis senior was a criminal, I believe it’s referred to in the news headlines when he goes missing, but that’s at the start and we were still settling into the film. Plus, who believes the news these days. In fact, at the end of the film my son looked at me and said: “So did his dad steal all those artefacts then mum”?

Artemis’ dad is kidnapped by an evil fairy and obviously Junior’s mother is dead otherwise the story wouldn’t work. It’s up to Artemis and his ‘butler/bodyguard’, who we’re not allowed to refer to as Butler as it upsets him, to retrieve the Aculos in exchange for his dad’s life.

I’m not sure how I felt about Judy Dench’s character either, everyone had gruff voices and I wonder if that was to stop us from thinking fairies are these delightful winged creatures who grant us wishes.

The story itself was OK and I loved that it was set in Ireland with such beautiful scenery, but I’m not entirely convinced the film showed Artemis to be the villain or criminal that perhaps he was. He came across as a genius for sure, but also a brat who spent most of his days alone in an extremely large house with gadgets and a ‘Butler/bodyguard’ to keep him company!

It’s not a film I’d watch again.

Fantasy, Adventure | USA, 2017 | PG | Disney+ | 12th June 2020 | Dir. Kenneth Branagh | Ferida Shaw, Josh Gad, Lara McDonnell, Judi Dench, Colin Farrell, Nonso Anozie