Title – Pinocchio (2022)
Director – Robert Zemeckis (Cast Away)
Cast – Tom Hanks, Cynthia Erivo, Luke Evans, (voices of) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Keegan-Michael Key
Plot – Created by master craftsman Geppetto (Hanks), wooden boy Pinocchio (Ainsworth) comes alive alongside his off-sider and conscience Jiminy Cricket (Gordon-Levitt) with his quest to become a real boy taking him on a strange and dangerous journey.
“Everybody who’s anybody wants to be a somebody!”
Review by Eddie on 16/09/2022
It’s hard to imagine when watching this live action remake of beloved Disney animation Pinocchio that director Robert Zemeckis at one stage in the not too long ago past directed the likes of Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump, Contact and Cast Away.
More recently known as the filmmaker responsible for curious CGI events like The Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol and some genuine recent stinkers such as Allied, Welcome to Marwen and The Witches, since the dawn of the 2000’s the once enjoyable career of Zemeckis has become anything but, with 20 plus years of mediocre products resulting in a filmography once brimming with inventive and crowd pleasing offerings turning more to robotic and uncharismatic features that are anything but magical.
With Disney on a rampant and seemingly unstoppable journey to turn everyone of their known and loved properties into live action films that can turn a quick buck and reach for the low hanging fruit, Zemeckis and the House of Mouse have combined forces once more to bring the classical tale of a wooden boys quest to become real but despite the story at this films core still being whimsical and fantastical, Zemeckis can’t instil any new vision or fun into this paint by numbers affair that genuinely makes you wonder what the whole point of the whole exercise was?
With it not being hard to see why this feature was shunned from a theatrical release in favour of it being released directly onto Disney+ with little fanfare or promotion, Zemeckis’s reunion with long time collaborator Tom Hanks should have at the very least inspired mild wonder and awe from its audience but there’s barely such a moment to be found in this stale re-imagining, that may have some nice technical wizardry on show and some clearly expensive sets and a production design but does little to nothing in the storytelling department as we dutifully but drearily follow Benjamin Evan Ainsworth’s wooden soul on a life changing journey in puppet shows, far from pleasurable islands and the innards of a gigantic sea beast.
With the original Disney animated classic featuring a number of memorable musical numbers, unforgettable characters and brilliantly realised set-ups and set-pieces, you at the very least expected that Zemeckis and his talented cast and crew may have delivered in that space in some significant ways but while the film itself steers clear from the irredeemably bad and offensive, there’s an inescapable feeling that watching such a great story and capable bunch of performers and artists be this midtier product isn’t the enjoyable viewing experience it should have been.
Final Say –
Lacking any real magic or imagination, this latest take on the Pinocchio tale is another disappointing feature from the sad and desperate career of Robert Zemeckis who has long been struggling to recapture any of the spark he once had as a filmmaker.
2 root beers out of 5
I like the animated version, Zemeckis and Hanks, but my modest hopes were already crushed by the disappointing reviews. I love animated Beauty and the Beast, but the live-action version was a snoozefest, so I’ve been reluctant to see other live-action “upgrades” of the beloved Disney classics. I still feel I have to in order to express my honest destain. 😀
I really don’t think any of their live action remakes have justified being made yet. Just seem so generic and by the numbers.
I think Disney’s live-action remakes are a bit of “hit or miss” with me. This particular one is a miss. Some parts work, but a lot of it falls flat and rather wooden.
Wooden is about the best word one could use for this one mate!
I think most of the remakes for me have been very much misses.
I think, like many, I still find this story a bit creepy but also – regarding the remake – I just didn’t understand ‘why’ Disney are so addicted to this half-arsed remakes that completely miss the point of their original own animation.
Anyway, I also now think of the ‘strings’ part as 100% related to Ultron, which amuses me nevertheless!
Yeh surely Disney with all the money and creative powers could come up with more original content that means more than these easy win remakes.
But that’s the thing, they’re not even that successful – and not even critically. It’s a weird move. Maybe just done for merchandise?
Good point mate. I mean Lion King, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast would have made the coffers happy but there’s been a few that really haven’t made much of a splash!
I do hope it all ends soon and maybe they turn the focus back to more original content.
Good review and thank you for the heads up about this one. I’ll probably sit through it with the kids if they are interested in it but the expectations of my enjoyment are minimal.
Be interested to hear what kids think of this one, I suspect even the so called target audience may not be that enamoured with this effort.
I’ll let you know. Hopefully they won’t hate it as much as they did Lightyear.
I have not seen this film, but I am sure you are very right. In a way, it is very sad. Well, Zemeckis as Burton have to be given their due. They rose when a certain level of “tackiness” in a film was in vogue, so to speak and replicating it now just doesn’t work. Zemeckis is all about traditional sentimental story-telling, who is interested in that, anymore? It is more heart-breaking than anything else. Back to the Future had some tackiness, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit drowned in it. No one expected the success of Back to the Future, and what could have possibly gone wrong with Forrest Gump? I personally loved A Christmas Carol and Fight, though neither were perfect.
I was a big fan of Flight in some aspects, at least he tried too do something different there!
But this film is another sad step in his career that has really gone downhill.
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