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I have been waiting for an Artemis Fowl movie since I was eleven years old.  I was a fan of the first book from the moment a family friend recommended it to me.  In the years that followed, I eagerly awaited the release of the subsequent books in the series and read them almost as soon as I got my hands on them.  Admittedly, I only ever ended up reading the first five books.  When I outgrew the target demographic, I didn’t realize until many years later that a total of eight books had come out.  I now own all but the eighth and, like many of the books I own, they are waiting patiently in the “to read” pile.  I’ll probably have to marathon read them now that I’ve watched the movie.

Because I have been waiting for so long, I was worried that I would be disappointed with the film for a number of reasons.  First of all, because I was such an avid fan as an adolescent and I have been waiting for a movie to be made for the past eighteen years, I was worried that it would not live up to my expectations. I was worried that I would get so excited that there was finally a film, that the movie would be a letdown.  I was also worried that because fans like me have been waiting for so long, that this movie was simply put out to appease the fans.  I hoped this wouldn’t be a case of “here’s your movie, now stop whining.” I was hopeful that, instead, it would be a case of “thank you for waiting – we’ve worked hard to make this something you fans will love.” After having seen it, I suppose it ended up being something in between.

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Artemis Fowl Directed by Kenneth Branagh – Adventure, Fantasy, Family: Loosely based on the events of some of the early books by Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl sets a plan in motion to rescue his father from Opal Koboi. The young criminal mastermind captures Officer Holly Short, a fairy, in the hopes that doing so will force the fairies to help him find the Aculos.  Not only is the Aculos one of the most powerful magical objects in existence, but it is also the bargaining chip Artemis needs to rescue his father. Throughout the film, Artemis teams up with Holly, his bodyguards Domovoi and Juliet Butler, and the Dwarfus Giganticus Mulch Diggums.

Pros: For the most part, the casting was well done.  I particularly enjoyed Dame Judi Dench as Commander Root. I also really enjoyed the costumes, especially those of the L.E.P. The bright green of the uniforms meant they caught the eye in almost every shot.  I liked how for both male and female characters, the uniforms had a somewhat androgynous quality about them. The sets were also visually appealing, and it’s hard not to love those shots of the Irish landscape. Although there was something about the visuals that I found a bit lacking – and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it – overall, the film was pretty to look at.

Cons: Although I agreed with the casting choices for just about all of the characters, I really did not like Ferdia Shaw’s portrayal of Artemis Fowl.  I found his acting to be stiff and unnatural.  It was unfortunate that the main character of the film was the one I had a hard time watching. The editing could have also used a little extra work, particularly during the action sequences.  Everything felt rushed. In fact, the whole film felt rushed.  This movie might have benefited from an extra fifteen to twenty minutes so that the cast and crew could really take their time with the action.

Final Thoughts: It wasn’t entirely faithful to the source material, and it certainly wasn’t a strong film, but it was fun.  As someone who grew up reading the books, I think the best part for me was the flood of memories that came rushing back once I started watching the movie. And given how long I had to wait for this movie, what I got was good enough.  I certainly wish it could have been a stronger film overall, but I had fun, I was entertained, and I reveled in the nostalgia. In the end, I’m not all that disappointed.  I may even want to watch this again.

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