Mini-Review Mondays: Strange Magic

Strange MagicRelease: January 23, 2015

Story: We are introduced to a land of flowers, sunshine, and fairies. Nearby this society is the dark forest, full of bog creatures led by the terrible Bog King (played by Alan Cumming). The Bog King has outlawed love potions due to a horrible event in his past and he’s keeping the Sugar Plum Fairy (Kristin Chenoweth), the only one who can make the concoction, captive in his dark kingdom. Meanwhile, a goodhearted gnome named Sunny (Elijah Kelley) is tricked by a big, tough, douchey warrior fairy named Roland (Sam Palladio) into venturing into the Dark Forest to find a Primrose flower (a key ingredient in love potions) and rescue the Sugar Plum Fairy so that she can make a love potion for Sunny, who’s in love with the Fairy King’s daughter, Dawn (Merideth Anne Bull), and Roland, who wants to rule and be in charge of the fairy army and has to marry the King’s other daughter, Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood), to do it. Dawn is a pretty young girl with only one thing on her mind, finding her true love. She’s a good soul but flirts with practically every man in the fairy kingdom, falling in love at the drop of a hat. Sunny is convinced she only sees him as a friend. Marianne used to be just like her sister, but hardened when she found Roland kissing another fairy on the day her (Marianne) and Roland were set to be married. Disillusioned by love, she’s now battle ready to protect her sister from anything that may harm her. With the Bog King and his army of minions on the move after they discover Sunny’s plan, Marianne finds herself having to rescue her sister from the Bog King. Along the way, our story (inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) will be filled with jokes, pop songs, action, and love.

Thoughts: This came out earlier this year. Don’t remember? Neither does anyone else. I don’t think it was advertized heavily, and it received horrible reviews – leaving theaters shortly after arriving. The movie is based off a story devised by George Lucas (yes, that George Lucas). Lucas had been working on the film for 15 years before the start of production. It was meant as a dedication to his daughters and was supposed to be to girls what Star Wars was for boys. One, I find it personally insulting that he thought that Star Wars was somehow a boy only club. Two, I find it even more insulting that his ‘girl version’ of said science fiction film includes fairies and mostly focuses on love stories because girls are only into light, fluffy duffy stuff (I cannot accurately explain the amount of eye rolling I’m doing right now). This being a companion film is ludicrous anyway since it bares zero resemblance to Star Wars in ANY way.

The picture itself is a terrible hodgepodge of different genres with an uninspired story, mostly lame jokes, and boring covers of pop songs, which, when the film begins, often stop the story dead before it’s even able to get going.

This is without a doubt the most generic movie I’ve seen in a long time. It’s so incredibly easy to forget that I’m surprised any of it is coming back to me. The only really good thing I can say about it is the relationship that eventually forms between the Bog King and Marianne is very well acted, written, and animated. It made me care about a story that I didn’t give a fig about and provides the movie with its only enjoyable and interesting moments. While it sadly doesn’t begin to develop until more than half-way through the film, it left me with some positive feelings when the credits rolled. The overall messages of the movie, by the way, are admirable and are one of the other few highlights. I would still stay far away from this one. Go watch the trailer for The Force Awakens instead. I can already guarantee that you’d rather be watching that than this forgettable mess.

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