Review: ‘Artemis Fowl’ Lacks Any Redeemable Characteristics

Artemis Fowl, which premiered last weekon Disney+, is based on the famous book written by Eion Colfer. It’s directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad, Colin Farell, and Judi Dench. This film centers on young Artemis Fowl, the son of a criminal mastermind, who must rescue his father who’s held captive by a mysterious enemy called Opal Koboi.

This film starts with a dwarf named Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad), who, while being interrogated, narrates the story of Artemis Fowl from beginning to end. The catch is the narration is rather pointless to have throughout the film. Most of it includes an exhausting exposition that isn’t actually important for the audience to know. It includes so much unnecessary information that it’s hard for the audience to keep the big picture in mind.

The other issue in Artemis Fowl is the poor development of the main character. This is the result of the writers clearly treating him like a supporting character instead of the main character. In the books, Artemis Fowl is a certified child genius who’s both a confident and reliable character. In the film, Artemis Fowl is seen more as a repulsive, shallow character filled with arrogance and cocksure ego. There is minimal time spent on understanding who Artemis is as the film’s protagonist, and as a result, he is relegated to the trope of the immature sidekick.

The main antagonist, Opal Koboi, also doesn’t have much to offer. For starters, Opal Koboi appears as a one-dimensional character that wants the Aculos to attack without any purpose besides being evil. The only notable thing Koboi does besides capturing Artemis Fowl’s father is a warning Artemis Fowl that he will annihilate everything he admires unless he brings him the Aculos, an enchanted item that’s capable of transporting individuals or objects to and from any point on the globe. There’s no backstory for the antagonist and worst of all, the audience doesn’t know who Opal Koboi really is unless they’ve read the book series. In the book series, Opal Koboi is an evil pixie who’s the founder of Koboi Labraotires obsessed with having world domination. In the film, he’s a predictable villain with no clear motivation. The portrayals of the antagonist and protagonist are only two of the failures this film has in relation to its source material.

Overall, Artemis Fowl isn’t charming and comes up short on any redeemable characteristics. Rather, this film’s poor quality is a result of its bland characters, narration, and story. While it’s completely understandable if you expect the film to be on par with the novel, you will be sorely disappointed. Once you watch it, you will immediately understand why Disney decided to pull it from theaters to launch on Disney+ instead.

.5/5 STARS