Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.



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The Brothers Grimm

Film #163


Will and Jake Grimm are traveling con-artists who encounter a genuine fairy-tale curse which requires true courage instead of their usual bogus exorcisms.

Year 1, Day 164

BEFORE: After a wonderful treat yesterday for the movie marathon, Matt Damon returns in The Brothers Grimm. Also starring Heath Ledger, this film continues along with the fantasy setting from The Hobbit just with more “classic” tales compared to Tolkien’s masterpiece.

AFTER: As far as fairy tales go, I’m not the most knowledgeable person in that category. I read and heard many in my childhood but I know them more by name rather than actual events that happen in the tales. The Brothers Grimm covers and references many of these tales but even for someone who is not an expert in that field, I was still able to find it quite enjoyable.

It was nice to see brief mentions of these various tales throughout the movie. As you follow the Grimm brothers (Matt Damon and Heath Ledger) along their quest, you see a girl in a red cape (Little Red Riding Hood), glass slippers (Cinderella), and magic beans (Jack and the Beanstalk). While they aren’t the focus of the story, I found it very entertaining to see the beginnings of these tales, the little nuggets of information that Jake (Heath Ledger) wrote down in his book.

While this aspect of the plot is nice, there are some other issues, most notably the seemingly wild premise. It’s a very simple premise, find what is taking the children of Marbaden, but included in that are many random excursions that lack purpose. Ok, we see the Queen’s tower and the Grimms are unsuccessful at figuring out what is going on, but why are we now going back to General Delatombe’s (Jonathan Pryce) headquarters? All-in-all the story is fairly straightforward but these occasional random happenings ruin the flow and the pacing of the true purpose of the story - finding the evil powers.

The Brothers Grimm is a visual beauty. The director Terry Gilliam creates a wonderful look to the film and does more than just make a period piece. The costumes and sets all look like they are from the 19th century but they also have a distinct fantasy/fairy tale look to them as well.

Overall, The Brothers Grimm was a decent film. The story was fairly good but marred by random excursions. The tone also seemed a bit confused in a sense. Something about the film reminded me of another Heath Ledger film * A Knight’s Tale*, which was also a period piece but done in a very modern and obviously comedic way. While The Brothers Grimm doesn’t come anywhere close to the comedic style of A Knight’s Tale it felt as if it wanted to but held back. For a good and entertaining time, The Brothers Grimm should fit the bill. Not the best fantasy film out there but by no means the worst either.

RATING: 3 out of 5