Considering of shaking up your vacation custom this yr and heading to the “Nutcracker” film as an alternative of the ballet? Don’t tear up these Tchaikovsky tickets simply but, as a result of Disney’s new riff sleighs the beloved story.
“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” warps little Clara’s (Mackenzie Foy) journey to the magical land of sugar plum fairies and royal mice into a darkish political allegory — precisely what audiences are craving! — full of propaganda and smear campaigns. A few of the highly effective characters you thought have been good are evil and vice versa. It’s like “Depraved,” however wretched.
The revamp begins off in a significantly dreary Victorian London. There’s a lot soot and shadow there, you’ll want Jack the Ripper would present as much as lighten the temper. Clara, her father and siblings are driving to Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) home for his annual blowout. However everyone is mopey as a result of Clara’s mother has just lately died. Don’t maintain your breath for moments of happiness or uplift. There aren’t any.
When the youngsters go off on the hunt for his or her presents from toymaker Drosselmeyer, Clara’s search leads her down a lengthy hallway that opens up into a world ripped from “The Chronicles of Narnia.” She meets a nutcracker named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight, the solely good efficiency). After which the plot turns into nutty.
A realm’s chief named Sugar Plum (Keira Knightley) informs Clara that she is definitely a princess, and that she should assist defeat Mom Ginger (Helen Mirren), the least threatening villain ever. A lot of this dumb, dense again story is loosely defined throughout — get this — a several-minute-long ballet sequence that includes Misty Copeland.
Some confusion is OK if there’s a joke right here and there, a little bit of wit, an oz. of enjoyable. However odd-couple administrators Lasse Hallström (“Chocolat”) and Joe Johnston (“Jurassic Park III”) are hellbent on conserving their film brooding, unhappy and sedate. For example: the Mouse King is turned from a fearsome beast into a disgusting mass of hundreds of squirming mice that delivered to thoughts the time dozens of rats stormed the West Village Taco Bell in 2007. Have a holly jolly Christmas.
The performances, by and massive, vary from dangerous to ordinary. Foy performs the supposed-to-be-innocent Clara like she’s a runway mannequin named Svetlana. Knightley speaks in an obnoxious helium squeal. And Mirren is dressed as a carnival pirate.
You’ll find me at the ballet.