Saw it tonight – a new version of the brother Grimm’s fantasy world or just crap? Terry Gilliam’s answer to this question costs dearly: 80 Mio. $ for the story of two fake “ghostbusters”, together with their “futuristic” special gear, have to face a real curse one day. Wilhelm (Matt Damon) und Jacob (Heath Ledger) stumble rather colourless through a baroque pseudo-middle age full of amiable details. There is a faint smell of Monty Python upon it, as has been often noticed.
Gilliam uses more a warehouse of motives from his earlier works, as Jabberwocky (1977) or Time Bandits (1981), than really originally rendering a fairy tale world. Spooky perspectives, bizarre torture instruments – that look like a disney land version of Piranesi’s Carceri – and rarely any real comical elements make a luke warm bore, instead of a creative movie.
Devilish stepmother cliché from Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937 with Rapunzel (Monica Bellucci), centers a plot grippy like mashed potatoes. Intertextuality, the kafkaesque, whatever might help cloth this miserable skeleton of a story, is consequently amiss.
Stale as the story, is the acting too. Matt Damon has nothing to render, and does not even try. Heath Ledger has a bit more cute figure (Jake) to interpret, but is clearly not facing any challenge with it. Peter Stormare, known from Fargo (1996), is the bearer, not of light, but at least of humour as an excentric torture specialist of ancient italian provenance. Mediocre blockbuster with technical perfectionism.
Brothers Grimm (The Brothers Grimm); Czechia/ USA 2005; 118 minutes, Director: Terry Gilliam; Writer: Ehren Kruger; Producers: Daniel Bobker, Charles Roven; Starring: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Peter Stormare, Lena Headey, Jonathan Pryce