Tuesday, Nov 13, 2018
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Peach Weekender

PEACH WEEKENDER I MOVIES

New Grinch fails to improve on original

  • Film-Review-The-Grinch-2

    The Grinch, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.

    UNIVERSAL PICTURES

  • Film-Review-The-Grinch

    Grinch, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.

    UNIVERSAL PICTURES

  • Film-Review-The-Grinch-1

    Bricklebaum, voiced by Kenan Thompson, left, and Grinch, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.

    UNIVERSAL PICTURES

  • Film-Review-The-Grinch-3

    Bricklebaum, voiced by Kenan Thompson.

    UNIVERSAL PICTURES

  • Film-Review-The-Grinch-4

    Cindy-Lou Who, voiced by Cameron Seely, left, and Grinch, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.

    UNIVERSAL PICTURES

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The Grinch is to Christmas what Black Friday is to the holiday season: commercially rotten to the core.

But what else should be expected from a family animated movie that promotes the true spirit of the holiday in the early days of November?

Benedict Cumberbatch is the voice of the ill-tempered but lonely Grinch, who lives a solitary life in his cave high atop a mountain that overlooks Whoville. The miserable green one has only Max, his faithful dog and best friend, to keep him company, and other than occasional trips to Whoville to get food, has nothing to do with his valley neighbors.

It’s during one of his reluctant shopping trips that the Grinch encounters Cindy Lou Who (Cameron Seely), a pig-tailed and fearless little girl with a precocious heart; for Christmas, she wants Santa to give her struggling single mother, Donna Lou Who (Rashida Jones), the break she needs and deserves.

Trailer: The Grinch

Cindy Lou Who plans to trap Santa so that she can ask for her request in person.

Grinch, who loathes the social aspect of Christmas, as family and friends gather together to celebrate, plans to dress up as the less-than-jolly ol' elf to steal everything associated with the holiday and turn Whoville's Christmas Day joy into Christmas Day grief. Clearly the pair are destined to meet again.

The Grinch does more than triple the running time of the original TV classic, which is to say this animated big-screen version is three times too long and 10 times as unnecessary (much like Jim Carrey’s dreadful live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas from 2000).

Other than padding the plot, backstories for the main characters, and additional comedic relief (Kenan Thompson as Bricklebaum, the jolliest Who of them all, and a rotund reindeer named Fred), The Grinch is ultimately faithful to its source material: the book and the TV special. But it never improves upon it (other than the CG animation’s wintry outdoors, which are post-card perfect). 

The voicework is unmemorably average, and Pharrell Williams replacing Boris Karloff as the story's narrator and Tyler, the Creator's update of Thurl Ravenscroft’s "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" amount to concessions by the filmmakers that no one can replace either of those iconic performances. The same could be said of this Grinch update.

You're utterly unnecessary, Mr. Grinch

You really are a bore

You're as funny as a layoff, you're as authentic as the Jackalope, Mr. Grinch

You're an awful sandwich served on moldy stale bread

 

You're a cash grab, Mr. Grinch

Your soul is made of money

Your heart is in your wallet, you have box-office returns on your brain, Mr. Grinch

I wouldn't recommend you in this or any other holiday season

 

You're a blatant one, Mr. Grinch

You have dollar signs in your smile

You have all the genuineness of an ambulance-chasing lawyer, Mr. Grinch

Given a choice between the two of you I'd take a root canal

 

You're a vile family movie, Mr. Grinch

You're a nasty-wasty studio release

Your heart is full of Grinch merchandising, your soul is full of Grinch films to come, Mr. Grinch

The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote

"Sucks, sucks, sucks"!

 

You're a soon-to-be-forgotten one, Mr. Grinch

You're the king of studio greed

Your heart's an overdrawn checking account with no money to pay the bills, Mr. Grinch

Your soul is an appalling holiday release for the masses overflowing with the most disingenuous butchery of Dr. Seuss not seen since Jim Carrey got tangled-up in that awful Grinch suit

Contact Kirk Baird at: kbaird@theblade.com or 419-724-6734.

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