On paper, Artemis Fowl seemed to have everything going for it. Made by Disney and directed by Kenneth Branagh, plus a stellar cast including Dame Judi Dench, it was based on a much loved series of novels written by Eoin Coffler. The film tells the story of 12-year-old criminal genius Artemis Fowl, who captures a vicious fairy, and attempts to harness her magical powers in a bid to rescue his family.
Despite this promise, Artemis Fowl has been a massive flop with fans. One issue was that it strayed too far from the original novels, which are popular with teens, so fans of the books found it frustrating that so many characters and scenes were omitted or changed. Newcomers to Artemis Fowl have just found it confusing.
In fact, the main issue with Artemis Fowl is that it is extremely confusing and tries to combine too many different film genres into the same story. Irish mysticism, fairies, trolls, crime and sci-fi, plus of course magical powers – it does not have the effortless consistency of the Harry Potter franchise, yet it seems to be trying to capture the same market.
The Harry Potter films faithfully recreated J.K. Rowling’s novels, yet the filmmakers have made many changes to Artemis Fowl , making the story even more incomprehensible than it already was on paper. Fans of the Artemis Fowl books who have been eagerly awaiting the film have been extremely disappointed.
According to some critics, Artemis Fowl is like a mash up of Star Wars and Harry Potter; others say it is more like a mash-up of Men in Black and Harry Potter.
None of these issues necessarily make a film bad. However, many people who have tried to follow the film say that is unwatchable. Complaints include no engagement between the mainly unlikeable characters, no plot continuation, and the fact that it is completely devoid of any charm whatsoever.
One problem with Artemis Fowl is that it has been such a long time in the making. It was first proposed as a franchise back in 2001 and was in development until 2013 with numerous writers and directors until it was bought by Disney in 2013. Kenneth Branagh came on board in 2015, so it has taken nearly five years to actually produce, but almost 20 years if you count the time it was in development.
The result is a confusing mish mash of styles and different story lines that have failed to hit the spot. We all expect better from Disney, but sadly Artemis Fowl is certainly not one of their finest productions!