Updated: Jan 20, 2019
Thanks to Universal Pictures for an invitation to attend an advanced screening of this film for the purpose of review.
It’s not often that you will find an entire auditorium dying of laughter as “The Grinch” directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier, caused at a screening. Reusing the traditional and practically clichéd story of a Grinch, voiced by Academy-Award nominated Benedict Cumberbatch, the film stars the character in his traditional form for a modern audience. While fellow colleagues may have bashed the film for its lack of innovation, The Grinch remains entertaining throughout even if there isn’t anything new that directors Cheney and Mosier are able to add to it.
Sitting on a teetering 60% on Rotten Tomatoes, there are notable detriments that nearly collapse the entire experience. An example can be found prevalent early on, namely that the film tries far too hard to evoke emotions that aren’t related to its mildly comical jokes. Many of the frequent interactions between Donna Lou Who and Cindy Lou Who are charming but occasionally attempts to steer into thematic material. Although in any other film with a more serious tone these attempts could have been successful, it doesn’t have the ability to be taken seriously since the moments before and after these scenes are very comedic making the “emotional” scene lack an emotionally resonant impact. It comes off as a defeated attempt that only serves as filler in the already bloated run time.