Artemis Fowl is a highly produced adventure the whole family can enjoy. Often when children want parents to sit down and watch something, it is akin to a sort of torture, but this proves to be the exception. This adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s work is brisk, bright, and provides the perfect option for a movie night at home. The chemistry between Ferida Shaw (who plays Artemis Fowl II), Holly Short (Lara Mcdonnell), and Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad) was surprisingly good too. Perhaps my expectations were diminished due to the delay stemming from COVID-19. While the film isn’t perfect by any stretch, don’t let Disney placing the film on it’s streaming service influence your decision to watch. If anything, it makes the film that much more accessible to children.
The film is based on Eoin Colfer’s fantastic book of the same name. It details the adventures of a 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he desperately tries to save his father, who has been kidnapped. To pay his ransom, Artemis must find a way into the advanced world of the fairies and retrieve the Aculos, the most powerful magical device ever.
Artemis Fowl does suffer from straying too far from the source material. Except for the scene where he decodes a fairy book and when the troll gets unleashed on Fowl manor, the connection is genuinely in name only. Writers Conor McPherson and Hamish McColl were perhaps looking to create an updated universe for these characters to thrive in. Still, they could have relied a bit more on source material instead of going off the deep end. When the film did attempt to adapt from the first book, they seemingly grabbed the wrong content. The monologue that Mulch does into the camera during the first act and at the end is inspired by book 1, and it works so much better than it did on screen.
The editing in the film seemed off as well. There were points in the film transitions occurred that frankly didn’t make too much sense. It makes you wonder if some of the editing decisions were made at the last second. Overall the commitment from the cast was top notch. Even Judi Dench and Colin Farrell, who both play supporting roles, do a fine job. It’s this commitment and frankly the chemistry between Gad, McDonnell, and Shaw, which elevates the quality of the final product. Some might say they outperform what’s on the page.
Artemis Fowl comes to Disney+ this Friday.