Running Time: 127 minutes
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dunstan Thorne, Robert Deniro, Kate Magowan, Sienna Miller, Henry Cavill, Ian McKellen
Plot: An alarming number of actors come together to make a steaming heap of shit in the form of a ham-fisted, tongue-in-cheek fairy tale flick. It’s got witches, it’s got unicorns, it’s got…none of the charm of the Princess Bride. I’m not going to waste time trying to outline the plot to this turkey; suffice to say, I think this was written by a community theater group playing a group storytelling game.
Review: I’m just going to come right out and say it: I was not a fan of this movie. At no point in over two hours did this movie do anything to endear itself to me. It was some of the most senseless garbage I have seen since I watched Lucy. Here’s a list of things Stardust seems to think it is: Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Legend, The Princess Bride, Hocus Pocus, Halloween Town. It is none of these things…Okay, it might be Halloween Town.
The first thing I noticed about Stardust was the CGI. It. Is. Terrible. The special effects clued me in early on to the fact that I might be in store for a train wreck. Like a fool, I ignored my gut. If only there was a way to go back and warn myself to heed that feeling, but alas, there is not.
I had so many unanswered questions by the end of this movie. Principle among them was “who is this for?” This is a movie full of banal and immature humor, which would lead me to think it’s for kids, but then those are juxtaposed by scenes which seem entirely inappropriate for children (I’ll come back to that later).
I could spend days just talking about Robert Deniro as a pirate. He seemed to be doing a Mandy Patinkin impression, which is probably the only part of the movie that made sense to me because they were trying so hard to make The Princess Bride, as I’ve mentioned. The thing that made less sense to me was why they would have him allude to having intentions of raping Claire Danes. Best case scenario for a kid watching this is that they interpret it as Deniro taking Claire to his cabin to beat the shit out of her for funsies, which is… still pretty goddam dark, actually. Don’t worry though, intrepid readers, because when we are shown what’s happening in his quarters he has revealed himself to be a gay crossdresser and he and Claire immediately become BFFs. It is pure craziness. Later there’s also a made-up slur for homosexual used. It reminded me of when kids will say “fudge” so they won’t get in trouble for cursing.
Other things that were off to me included Ricky Gervais showing up as a character who is basically just David Brent, but he is wearing what seemed to be a shag carpet cowboy hat, which I don’t recall him doing on The Office. Charlie, the “sympathetic male lead” cuts off some of Claire’s hair as she sleeps. Seems pervy to me. Moving on. There was a training montage that went back and forth between swordplay and ballroom dancing which seemed unnecessary, but at least it set us up for when Charlieboy fights his bully (Cavill) at the end of the movie. Just kidding, there’s never any payoff there. It’s a real shame, because what this movie was really lacking was length (still kidding, this movie is impossibly long).
Should you see it? If you like really, really slow horse chases, or just want to see a generally talented cast embarrass themselves over an incredibly long period of time, then sure. This movie is an opportunity to see those things. Plus, despite it being as terrible as A Winter’s Tale, people do seem to like it. What you do with your time is none of my business, really.