If you are looking for an exciting new holiday movie to liven-up this Christmas season, the new “Grinch” movie is not to be placed at the top of the list, unless it is the only holiday-themed movie to come out this year.
“The Grinch” is a holiday story we all know well and keep close to our hearts, along with other Christmas classics such as “A Christmas Carol” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
But this 2018 revision created by Illumination and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the old hairy green scrooge is not very redemptive in its own right.
The main problem with this film is that it tells a story that, in its originality as a Dr. Seuss classic, is supposed to have a lot of heart, but it does not, and that’s because it does not have a lot of story in it.
It is the same story but everything is rushed.
There is no in-depth background to the characters and though we are given a background of the Grinch, it is fast-forwarded to get to the next scene, which fast-forwards to get to the next scene, all the way up until we get to the scene we all know— “his heart grew three sizes that day,” and then the end.
The Grinch’s haunted past is not deep enough to give us any real authentic conviction for the reasons behind his holiday heist.
In fact, Cumberbatch’s Grinch is rather more of a flawed cardboard cutout of a character we are already familiar with.
We see the heart of his animosity only through mere imagery—how he lives unhygienically, spraying himself with “Mold Spice,” and being mean to the Whos of Whoville, but it is basic.
In this story, he is more of a troubled cynic rather than a harsh creature.
When his spirit is revived at the end, when his heart regrows, the spiritual jolt that that scene is supposed to have just falls flat.
Cumberbatch’s Grinch, at times, appears to be a little bit pleasant, which is in extreme contrast to the old humbugging fellow we know well, who in the original story does not change to the very end in a very dramatic fashion, which is why the original story is so special.