Artemis Fowl Tries To Do Too Much In 94 Minutes

Ferdia Shaw is Artemis Fowl in Disney’s ARTEMIS FOWL, directed by Kenneth Branagh. Photo by Nicola Dove. ©2020 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The problem with Artemis Fowl is the same problem that plagued Green Lantern in that the film tries to do way too much during its run time.

There are films that deserve the ire of Green Lantern and Independence Day 2. Hell, for all the problems with Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl deals with too much mythology to bring the books justice.  Disney was right to send this film to the vault that is Disney+.  I’m only sorry for parents watching the film with their children this weekend.  Hell, I would almost rather watch Judi Dench in Cats and Cats was the single worst film of 2019.  Between Red Joan, Cats, and Artemis Fowl, I’m starting to become concerned with the state of her acting career.  Okay, the state of Dench’s film choices to be more specific.

The film is based on Eoin Colfer’s novel of the same name, first published in 2001 with the last book in the series published in 2012.  It’s taken almost twenty years to reach the big small screen.  I am going to be perfectly honest here in that I never read the book series.  I’m also going to be perfectly honest when I say that the books are probably better.  But a good book doesn’t necessarily mean a quality film adaptation.

There’s honestly not much else to say.  Too much mythology requiring explaining.  Artemis Fowl II (Ferdia Shaw) is in a battle against fairies that may or may not be behind his dad’s (Colin Farrell) kidnapping.

The film was originally scheduled for a August 2019 release where it would have taken in some solid box office revenue at the tail end of the season.  Instead, it got pushed back to late May.  As you already know, COVID-19 decided to have other plans for the film.  Instead of delaying the film for later in the year, Disney would move the film to its streaming service.  Good idea in theory in terms of getting eyeballs.  There’s no way that anybody would feel satisfied by paying $19.99 to rent the film for 48 hours on VOD.  Disney+ means spending less to view the film.  It also means that the studio won’t be making much money back on the budget.

Artemis Fowl certainly deserves better but we’ll probably never see another feature film starring the character.

DIRECTOR:  Kenneth Branagh
SCREENWRITERS:  Conor McPherson and Hamish McColl
CAST:  Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad, Tamara Smart, Nonzo Anozie, with Colin Farrell and Judi Dench

Disney+ launches Artemis Fowl on June 12, 2020. Grade: 1/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.