Movie Review – ‘Artemis Fowl’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

Who says there aren’t bad movie adaptations of books these days? ‘ARTEMIS FOWL’ DOES!!!

Okay, I need to backtrack here. ‘Artemis Fowl’ the movie is based on a series of kids books by Irish author Eoin Colfer. I’ve not read the ‘Artemis Fowl’ books as a kid as opposed to reading the ‘Alex Rider’ books. As I understand it, they are popular and there have been eight books published so far.

There have also been some short stories featured in the ‘Artemis Fowl’ universe. I’ve come across Eoin Colfer before since he wrote the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘A Big Hand For The Doctor’ featuring the First Doctor and Susan for the show’s 50th anniversary back in 2013. I wasn’t really a big fan of that story.

But hey, I’m sure the ‘Artemis Fowl’ books are more impressive compared to what I’ve seen in this movie. Now to be fair, I was willing to go into this movie with an open mind after hearing so many negative reviews on it. Maybe the movie will be better than people say and perhaps I would enjoy it.

Sadly however, ‘Artemis Fowl’ turned out to be an underwhelming and befuddling bore-fest. This is a shame as the movie did look good in terms of the Irish locations being filmed and the worlds being created. That might be down to how the director Kenneth Branagh presented the worlds beautifully.

Yeah, this is another painful topic to talk about. The film is directed by Kenneth Branagh, who previously directed the first ‘Thor’ movie with Chris Hemsworth as well as 2017’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ in which he played Hercule Poirot. The next film ‘Death on the Nile’ is coming soon.

I hope ‘Death on the Nile’ is an improvement compared to ‘Artemis Fowl’ since I didn’t find the story engaging enough and I didn’t find the characters engaging enough. I’m sure a lot of time and effort went into this film, but I don’t think it works well in terms of being a film adaptation of a book series.

The story of ‘Artemis Fowl’ is essentially about the adventures of a 12-year-old Irish prodigy who teams up with a faithful servant, a dwarf and a fairy. They rescue his dad, who’s also called Artemis Fowl, after he has been kidnapped by another fairy looking to reclaim an item the Fowls have stolen.

This movie was released on Disney+. Now as I understand it, Artemis Fowl is meant to be a young criminal mastermind – a villain essentially. This would’ve been interesting if we followed the journey of this character and how he ended up being a criminal mastermind – like Joker in his ‘Joker’ movie.

But sadly that’s not what we got here. In fact, the film takes a focus from two different viewpoints. Artemis Fowl himself and the young female elf he befriends called Holly Short. I wouldn’t have minded this but the interaction is very off-putting and I don’t feel an emotional connection to them.

Everything about these characters seems to be bland and they don’t come across as likeable enough. That might be down to the performances of the actors who played them. I wouldn’t want to blame the actors for their performances as this could also come from the direction they were given in this.

The cast includes Ferdia Shaw as Artemis Fowl, the main anti-hero of the story. I wish I could say Ferdia Shaw delivers a great performance in this but he comes across rather annoying and unlikeable. There is Lara McDonnell as Holly Short, the young 84-year old elf reconnaissance officer.

I found Lara McDonnell’s performance more likeable than Ferdia Shaw’s. There’s Josh Gad who plays Mulch Diggums, a giant dwarf thief; Nonso Anozie as Domovoi ‘Dom’ Butler, Artemis’ trusted servant and bodyguard and there’s Tamara Smart as Juliet Butler, Domovoi’s 12-year-old niece and Artemis’ best-friend. Honestly, I don’t feel we had enough scenes of Artemis and Tamara being friends in this.

There’s Colin Farrell (Bullseye in ‘Daredevil’) who played Artemis Fowl’s father – also called Artemis Fowl. 😀 There’s also Judi Dench as Commander Julius Root, the leader of the Lower Elements Police…also called LEPrecon. Honestly, I found Judi Dench’s performance weird in this movie, especially when she spoke in a raspy voice. I would’ve been happier if she spoke in her normal voice.

The film also features the fairy that kidnapped Artemis’ father called Opal Koboi, voiced by Hong Chau. Sadly we don’t get to see what Opal Koboi looks like due to him being covered up with hood and all. I doubt we’ll get the ‘Artemis Fowl’ sequel to show what Opal Koboi actually looks like here.

There’s also Nikesh Patel as Foaly the centaur; Joshua McGuire as Briar Cudgeon, a power-hungry lieutenant in the LEPrecon; Adrian Scarborough (who I didn’t realise it was him after seeing the film) as the Goblin Chief and…William Moseley from ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ films as an Italian man?! I didn’t realise he was in this after seeing the film. Then again, his character didn’t really do much here.

The film felt baffling towards it conclusion, especially with the time bubble psychics and such. I tended to drift whilst watching the film, which isn’t how a film should be, should it? There were also meant to be some emotional moments involving death but they’re quickly resolved with bringing the dying person back to life. I think the film would’ve benefited from having a few emotional deaths. 😐

So as you can tell, the film ‘Artemis Fowl’ didn’t impress me in the slightest, which is a huge shame as I think this movie could’ve had great potential if it focused more on character and story development. And this is coming from a person who hasn’t read the ‘Artemis Fowl’ books as a kid. 😦

I don’t wish to judge the efforts of director Kenneth Branagh as well as the cast. I’m sure a lot of time and effort was put into this. But it doesn’t across that way in the viewing process and it does seem like a lot of scenes were cut out in the final edit. Simply put, the film did come across…as ‘foul’.

I feel the ‘Stormbreaker’ movie is better than the ‘Artemis Fowl’ film.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Movie Review – ‘Artemis Fowl’

  1. Timelord 007

    Going go out on a limb here & say i don’t think you enjoyed this film lol.

    Blimey Tim i think my movie rants rubbing off on you, Spider-Man Far From Home, Maleficent & now Artemis Foul all received the wrath of the Welsh Warrior lol.

    Thanks for the heads up Tim it sounds terrible, I’ll steer clear of this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Artemis Fowl’.

      Yeah I’ve shared quite a number of critical reviews this week on ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’, ‘Maleficent’ and ‘Artemis Fowl’. I must be in a critical mood. Hopefully my reviews will be positive next week with ‘The Mandalorian’. 😀

      It’s a shame about ‘Artemis Fowl’ as it could’ve been a great movie but it just ended up being underwhelming. Don’t blame you for steering clear of it.

      Many thanks for your comments, Simon.

      Tim. 🙂



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