It’s ‘Grimm-ly’ awful

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Once upon a time, there was a dashing young lad of roughly 26, in the mood for a decent night out at the cinema. Spying a new film, he decided to visit the theater, confident that he would have an enjoyable time.

Unfortunately, the young man’s dashing looks didn’t extend to his mental capacity, as he found that he had blown his hard-earned money on something that could have been great, and ended up far, far below remotely satisfying. And believe me, the guy didn’t live happily ever after.

Who was this man? For confidentiality reasons, I can’t reveal his identity. But let us now discuss the disappointment that is the new film &uot;The Brothers Grimm.&uot;

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It’s not like the film didn’t have the tools to be great. It’s got Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, two hot young talents, in the title roles, and Terry Gilliam, who put together the masterpieces that were &uot;Monty Python&uot; films, at the helm. So what went so wrong?

The brothers, part of a con artist team that bilks people out of money by hunting created &uot;monsters,&uot; get arrested by the French army and forced to take on an actual force that has been stealing children from a German village (don’t ask why, it’s not even worth explaining). Eventually, they find out that an entire forest is possessed by an evil spirit, and a love interest (Lena Headey) that has absolutely zero chemistry with either of them. Come to think of it, that’s about the same amount of chemistry that Damon and Ledger have with one another. There’s some bright spots, like incorporating &uot;Red Riding Hood&uot; and &uot;The Gingerbread Man&uot; into basically cameo scenes, but they’re far too short and far between to pull the film up to anywhere near acceptable.

The film doesn’t really seem to decide whether it wants to be a horror or comedy, because it’s not at all scary or funny, and creating a horror flick in a forest didn’t make &uot;Sleepy Hollow&uot; or &uot;The Village&uot; worth watching either. Like Tim Burton, Gilliam does a decent job of creating the environment from a visual standpoint, but also like Burton, he leaves the film behind.

There’s one scene in the film where a disgusted Damon licks a toad, hoping that it will lead in the right direction through the forest. After watching this film, we’ll feel the same way – and the only direction we’ll want to go is toward the exit.

Grade: D+