Talk about wasted potential.
The Brothers Grimm represents such a great idea that is all but totally wasted with a less than thrilling story.
Writer Ehren Kruger, who recently kind of bored me with THE SKELETON KEY but once totally freaked me out with THE RING (admittedly, that was a remake of what was already considered a Japanese classic) really dropped the ball with The Brothers Grimm. Maybe having the manic, some would say, genius, Terry Gilliam directing had something to do with the sort of chaotic unappealing story we get here. I know he is like a “Tim Burton On Crack”, but I’ve never really been a big fan. In fact I think this is the first Gilliam film I see theatrically. Visually, the movie does have a lot going for it, well, until it relies too much on CGI and fails miserably. Well, at times the wolf looked OK.
But come on, this is about the Grimm brothers! Think about all the classic stories. Imagine how fun and cool this could have been!
Instead the classic fairy tales (I prefer “faery tales”, but don’t want to come off as pretentious) are all but glossed over in favor of a lacking story about our heroes being nothing more than snake oil selling charlatans who create their own “monsters” to vanquish, there by raking in the dough from over-zealous, superstitious villagers who need to know their sleepy little hamlets are once again safe from things that go bump in the night.
Of course when a real spook comes into the picture, the bros haven’t a clue as to what to do. Sure it would have been predictable no matter what, but it could have at least been a better ride along the way.
Despite the negatives though, I did very much appreciate the over the top acting from Matt Damon (whom I think does a good job with the accent) and Heath Ledger as the bros, Jonathan Pryce (A Gilliam veteran) as a sadistic general, Lena Headey as a villager who knows the enchanted forest better than anyone, and, well, calling his performance over the top truly is an understatement, but Peter Stormare steals the show as Price’s main minion, a very strange, Gillamesque caricature if there ever was one. That probably seems derogatory but it really is meant as a positive here.
My only complaint when it comes to casting is Monica Bellucci.
Wait, check that. I have no complaint with her casting. My problem is with the way she is used, or underused, which is more like it.
I know her English isn’t the best, but considering how important her character is, she barely talks in this movie, and is never really allowed to sell her character. In the end, she practically amounts to eye candy. Gloriously sweet eye candy, I’m sure, but almost meaningless just the same.
I wonder what this movie could have been.
Maybe we’ll never know.
But one thing it should have definitely been is better.