To summarize, “The Grinch” movie is every bit of the phrase “just okay.” It’s fine for kids, and they will surely get a kick of out some of the jokes, but overall, it felt more and more like a cash grab with every second that went by. There’s nothing new here. If you’ve seen any of the previous Grinch iterations, you know exactly what you’re getting into. This movie takes no chances, and while the film is not bad, it’s just a tad too safe.
In case you weren’t aware of the classic Grinch’s tale, the story is about a green haired man (creature?), played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who lives alone above an idyllic Christmas town called Whoville. Everyone in this town is obsessed with Christmas–that is–everyone but the Grinch who despises it. In order to ruin everyone’s Christmas, he devises a plan to dress up as Santa and steal everyone’s presents on the night of Christmas Eve. Everything will be gone and people will be sad.
If that synopsis was not new to you, it’s because you’ve seen it before. Usually, when Hollywood reboots a movie, they try to make the new one at least slightly different. This one makes no attempt at bringing anything new to the table. It changes very little from the previous animated version, and nearly copies direct shots from the Jim Carrey one. That alone made this movie feel like its sole purpose was to just make money. Sadly, they will achieve their goal, since the movie is projected to open with a staggering 70 million dollars.
Another criticism for the movie is that it never properly or even attempted to establish a relationship between the Grinch and Cindy Lu, a child that co-leads the movie and schemes to get Santa all to herself. The film presents these two characters as the most important to the story and yet (SPOILERS) they only meet face-to-face three times, and one of those times was with the Grinch as Santa Claus. The two main characters hardly knew each other and for most of the movie, they had two entirely different story lines that only came together at the very end. This made the film much less engaging to watch. The movie was very much about the Grinch and his antics, and very little about anything else.
Overall, The Grinch gets a 2.8/5 from me. The story felt empty, and certain plot points were heavily padded to fill the running time. The two main characters barely spoke to each other, and many of the jokes just fell flat. Young kids might like this movie, but if you’re looking for something that can please the whole family, go see anything else.