Aug 12 2010

Review: The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

It was Heath Ledger’s last film (he died during filming), and it was directed by Terry Gilliam (Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Brothers Grimm). It also stars Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Christopher Plummer.

I realized going in that Terry Gilliam films are guaranteed to be weird, that the storytelling is kind of a crapshoot, and that my favorite, Munchausen, is probably low-proof Gilliam. Still, the movie was so many kinds of weird, and most of it for no real reason other than the sake of being weird. The plot was hard to follow, and it was hard to figure out who the movie was about. So much of the weirdness detracted rather than enhanced the plot.

I really wanted to like Imaginarium. The overall visual look of the film is beautiful. Besides singing sad songs like Cookie Monster wearing a blood-stained shirt stained with whiskey,┬áTom Waits was born to play the Devil (complete with Waits’s trademark bowler hat). The funniest moment was probably when Verne Troyer (Mini-Me) was describing midgets.

Unfortunately you find out virtually nothing about the characters, and you don’t care about them. You don’t really want to root for anyone, don’t want to see any of the characters really succeed.

It just isn’t good storytelling. Also, if you’re already sick of CGI overuse, you’re in for a bad time.

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Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)