When she is ready to turn on the signal beacon, CIA agent Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett), artificial hard high-heeled redhead, will lead sadistic and skilled operatives to kill them first. Run, fight, run, enemy tortures innocent bystanders, run, fight, death. A brutal action thriller without usual macho male Big Guns shoot Bad Guys, compensated slightly by little girl kicks fierce.
Scenery spans arab Morocco 140 degree desert muzarin, Spanish campfire dance, opera and didgeridoo in Berlin graffiti slum, to Grimm's fairytale theme park. Music calls to her soul; speed excites her; noisy appliances, modern conveniences, and simple social skills confuse her. Even in the beginning in the lab, she doesn't want to kill anyone she doesn't have to, she shakes her head and walks away. Symbolism from the start, girl shoots deer in the head because she misses the heart, is carried to the final scene. (Wo)men are animals who kill anyone different as a threat? Kind of backwards happy ending, especially when sacrifice easily predicted. Why was that inevitable?
He intended this film to be a fairy tale, a few intense visual images, implausible unreal acceptable, with a character who discovers music. I did not feel a balance. The ending, walking out of the wolf's mouth, was just wierd. I suspected something I couldn't put a finger on. His "circle motif" was uncomfortable subconscious repetition, never explained.
I recognized actors but couldn't place them, maybe because I'm such a BBC fan. Australian Eric Bana is in Munich, Hulk, and Star Trek films. Fake wig Marissa stand-in is Michelle Dockery, Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey TV series. Sadistic whistling German rogue assassin Tom Hollander was Cutler Beckett in Pirates of the Caribbean. Sophie's mom, Olivia Williams was in TV Dollhouse series. Sophie's dad, Jason Flemyng, was Danny Quinn in Primeval.
A normal child's yearn for adulthood is in an extraordinary setting. Deep emotions convey in few words. As a North American, I missed the British bad-teeth director giving the wicked witch perfect Yankee teeth and taste for blood. Glad to hear producer Leslie also thought Erik should have gone into the snowstorm with a fur coat, not cloth suit. I'm glad I did not recognize a singing to lightbulb homage to Blue Velvet; all I remember about that film is feeling creeped out.
Extras: Gobber's Training Secrets demonstrated for six types, 4 deleted scenes (storyboards plain), Game, How to sketch baby Gronkle, Snoggletog party howto, Previews for Kung Fu Panda 2 (KF Fighting, TV series, Secrets of Furious Five dvd, game), Puss in Boots, plus songs from Shrek (I'm a believer), How to train your dragon (Fly High), Madagascar (Move It, Penguin Xmas), MegaMind (medley).
Starts, middles and ends with death (see spoiler), chases in between. Professor Dumbledore's legacies give hints for students Harry, Hermione, and Ron to find and defeat evil Lord Voldemort. In a magical muggle-oblivious England of little green and much grey, they run, pause to solidify evidence, get attacked, escape, run again. Dark, dark, and more dark. Featurette 1* sad, confusing 3* effects.
Settings: Dursley's 4 Privet Dr, sky, Weasley's, wedding, Sirius' refuge, cafe, Ministry, woods, rocky shore, seaside, cemetery, village, old lady's cottage, forest, Luna's, enemy stronghold, cellar prison, beach ... Voldemort and minions pursue everywhere.
Clues: Horcruxes, Gryffindor sword to destroy horcruxes, birth-place Godric's Hollow, bar-circle-triangle symbol for three Hallows
Spoilers: Deaths: witch teacher of Muggles course, Mad-eye Moody, house-elf Dobby
The motherless maiden, and fatherless garden rulers' only children are lucky daredevils. Elton John (he modified himself) songs both pump up emotion for important events, such as race between houses, and midnight raids, our couple disguised in black, and hint truth in the background, "How wonderful life is when you're in the world". I'm not a fan of musicals where people burst into song and dance unreasonably; this hits the spot. Spotted tracker doggy "Shroom" and Cuban plastic flamingo Featherstone (Jim Cummings - TV Tigger, Pooh) add more humor. Spoonerisms at the start, sweetness throughout.
The casting is impeccable. Delightful to recognize red cantakerous curmudgeon Richard Wilson from One Foot in the Grave's similar Victor Meldrew, again over the fence (also Doctor Who's Dr Constantine, Merlin's mentor Gaius). Lead roles are voiced by James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, parents Lady Bluebury Maggie Smith and Lord Redbrick, oh well, Michael Caine. Juliet's frog nurse Nanette Ashley Jensen I didn't remember from Phlegma the Fierce (added to the wonderful animated film, not in Book 1, How to Train Your Dragon). Who could do a better Terrafirminator than a real wrestler, like Hulk Hogan? Jason Statham, known for fierce fictional race-car driving, fills the same role in red Tybalt. Patrick Stewart is Shakespeare statue. Parton is the one and only Dolly in the world.
Spoiler: At the chorus finale, I couldn't help mourn the death. Thankfully, in the Disney world, clay bodies can be glued.
Features show setting is Stratford-on-Avon. Opening, endings, deleted scenes were unused for good reasons. Worst part is repeated "see what you think" by director. GSI investigators, ruse wedding, quarrelling weathervanes just hohum in storyboard versions. I expected to see London in the credits, but Toronto? Nelly Furtado?
Did you know Don Featherstone invented the pink plastic flamingo in 1957, produced in pairs, signed on the backsides, and much other garden kitsch sculpture? Hunh.
Choose French audio for lips to match words, without bro, slang, hemm-hawwing. Queens say biggie, hat's off, bupkiss, and yup? William Shatner voices lead, but the high squeaky, repetitive, smarmy tones are undistinguishable and unpleasant. Architecture is mosque-like, other credits French and E. European.
Like classic Russian tales, youngest miller's son pony-tailed Peter inherits the large, nearly as tall talking cat, on condition he makes special stored red leather into tall boots and His older brothers get the mill. He and the Princess are supposedly magnificent dancers. Puss promises the boy's royal crush will result in marriage. At the first inn stop, the pixie-cut masked princess executes her dream passion, first and only real dance in the whole film. The rest are just poses. Why do women all have big hips? French?
The evil chamberlain in a creepy beetle carapace-like cape wants to marry her. Magic candies transform competing suitors into warty toads for a mountain castle dwelling ogre, who hulk-like grows giant octopus tentacles, but dreams of one day becoming a swan. Jamaican chimp pianist is our team's inside man, taming the monster with music.
Extras (in English) Shatner interview has silent question pages. Slide show has 17 stills that summarize plot ending with full cast bow Trailer covers full story. Phase4 previews: Gruffalo, Jane Lynch Disco Worms, Antonio Banderas (finally!) The Missing Lynx, Forrest Whittaker Dragon Hunters (How to Train a Dragon off-take, Not Original!).