The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: Nathan's Movie Review
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a cute film with incredible effects and wonderful acting. It acts as a sort-of sequel to the ballet but at the same time reimagines it with a whole new story.
The film follows Clara, a young girl whose family has been shaken by the passing of Marie, Clara's mother. Clara's dad, who I'll refer to as Father, gives Clara and her siblings gifts left behind by Mother. The young boy gets a box of soldiers (foreshadowing), the oldest gets Mother's favorite dress, and Clara gets a locked silver egg. After Godfather sends Clara on a search for the key to the egg, Clara discovers The Four Realms, a magical place with all manner of intriguing beings. As Clara searches for the key she so desperately needs to find, she is thrust in the middle of a war, seemingly between Miss Ginger and the other three realms.
We all know the ballet, right? If not, the jist of the tale is the Nutcracker army going to war with the Mouse King and his army. The film pulls from that and, I believe, does honor the ballet, but at the same time it pulls a Maleficent and tells a story different from what we know, or, rather, think we know. I honestly didn't mind the changes. It worked for Maleficent and I think it worked here as well.
Mackenzie Foy was perhaps my favorite person in the film. She shows so much spunk and talent for someone so young. I look forward to seeing where her career takes her. Keira Knightley returns yet again to a role that requires an elegant dress. Hey, when you find something you're good at, stick with it. I'm just glad to see her looking at least a little healthier now. Helen Mirren is always a delight. She's England's Meryl Streep. Whatever they do, they do perfectly.
I only have two gripes with the film. The first is that it was pretty obvious that Disney pulled from some of their other films and rolled them together in a ball to make something new. There were glaring similarities with Narnia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Santa Clause 2, and Alice in Wonderland. The second gripe is, and I know this seems silly, but some of the dialogue seemed a bit too juvenile. I realize the film's aimed for kids but even Disney's animations have more grown-up-sounding dialogue. But that's just a small thing. It certainly doesn't take away from the film or its meaning.
In conclusion, I know what sites like Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes are saying but, honestly, I'm getting sick of those guys. They aren't honest or fair and they are extremely biased. So take it from me, a critic who is fair and who cares, add The Nutcracker to your watch list. I give the film a 3 out of 4.
© 2018 Nathan Jasper