I’ve been desperately avoiding taking the kids to see Arthur And The Great Adventure for weeks now. Sometimes you get a feeling in your bones that a movie’s going to be a complete suckfest. And by and large, this was.
Not having seen the first movie, Arthur And The Invisibles, I was at an immediate disadvantage. It seems like Arthur and his grandfather know about this secret race of creatures, and that through a magic telescope, Arthur can become one of these creatures and go on adventures with them. Anyone else getting an Avatar vibe from this so far?
The Great Adventure is an incredibly busy film. There are two major villains: Maltazard, a creepy-looking creation, and his son (we don’t find this out until late in the movie), Darkos. Then there’s Arthur’s parents who, while not quite evil, are a bit of a liability. Especially the father.
On the side of the good guys, there’s the Minimoys and Arthur’s grandfather. And a weird African tribe who live in rural Connecticut. But they’re absolutely useless as it turns out.
It’s incredibly difficult to sum up this movie, because it seems to movie at a furious pace and has so many plot points brewing at any given time. The antagonists were coming at Arthur and his friends from all directions. High points were a brilliant battle with Darkos aboard a toy train where there seemed to be tangible danger. And when Maltazard sets an army of overgrown moqsuitos on the small town, the movie takes a sudden trip into 1950’s B-Movie territory. These are fun set pieces, but ultimately the movie has nothing to really bind the story together.
Especially confusing is the point where grandfather Archibald passes growth potions to both the bad guys.
Ultimately, Arthur And The Great Adventure was a massive disappointment. Or it would have been if I hadn’t expected it to be terrible from the get-go. It’s saved by some fantastic CGI to a degree – when the animated characters end up interacting with the live ones, they blend in skillfully together.
Shame about the messy story though.