Every year it seems that Christmas sneaks its way into our calendars a little sooner than usual. Pretty soon, it will be smacking us in the face right after the Fourth of July. I am normally a Christmas-after-Thanksgiving-Day kind of person, but this year we saw the newest installment to The Grinch story the weekend after it opened. My kids were excited about going to see this movie and I really figured that it was going to be the same old story.
The Grinch stars Benedict Cumberbatch as our green grump and was directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier. Universal Pictures and Illumination picked up the rights this round and it definitely has a “Minions” feeling throughout the movie, especially with Pharrell as the narrator. The lights are extravagant, the houses decorated to the max, you can almost smell the Who-pudding and roast beast and the Christmas presents fill their way to the ceilings.
Oh, Tug The Heartstrings
The cyclical Grinch spell comes around again. We know how the story goes. The Grinch is angry at how happy and spirited the Whos are with Christmas. The Whos of Whoville declare that Christmas this year will be three times bigger. The Grinch wants his peace and quiet. This entices The Grinch to dress up as Santa and steal their Christmas. Meanwhile, Cindy-Lou Who also has a plan for Santa; she plans to catch him and meet him. Cindy-Lou wants to give Santa her wish list in-person which includes helping out her hardworking single mom. In this version, Cindy-Lou has a sweet little crew of friends who are at her side and ready to help her do what she needs to catch Santa, even if it means staying up all night. The friendship throughout the movie is definitely not like the other versions, cartoon and live-action.
Some people have complained that Cumberbatch’s role as The Grinch wasn’t “Grinchy” enough. I have to disagree. I think that he plays a cantankerous neighbor, just right and he is playing to get his way. He definitely puts his sweet pup, Max, to work but you can see the love flow to him.
Where Does The Grinch Rank?
Illumination sticks to the basic plot throughout the story but gives a great, heartfelt twist at the end that I can’t give away. They do a great job at giving the mixed family feeling which is so common these days, and I can appreciate that. My recommendation is definitely to see this version of The Grinch. I think it will become a yearly classic in my household, over the Jim Carrey version.
3 and a half stars
Friday Flicks are reviews of different types of entertainment that we appreciate!