As I have said before, the hardest reviews to write are the ones for movies that are just okay. There is nothing to point out that is poorly done, and there is nothing to laud. Illumination’s The Grinch is such a film. It is bright, the characters are cute, and the digital sets are amazing, but it is still the same story stretched over eighty-six minutes. Which feels about forty minutes too long.
If you have read the book or watched the Chuck Jones original short, you know the story. The titular Grinch, this time played by Benedict Cumberbatch, hates Christmas because his heart is two sizes too small, so he attempts to steal Christmas from the Christmas loving Whos down in Whoville. Illumination attempts to add some context, so that we can at least understand why the Grinch doesn’t like Christmas, he doesn’t like it, no not at all.
I will say that at least it isn’t as horrifying as the Jim Carry/Ron Howard movie from 2000, but at least that movie is actively bad, so I can feel some emotion about it. This 2018 Grinch attempts to delete itself from your memory as soon as you watch it. It is kind of like paying $15 for sugar free cotton candy. You probably will not hate it, but you should have spent your money on something else.
The biggest compliment that I can give Illumination’s The Grinch is that my four year old daughter loved it, and I think that is the target audience for this movie, so I guess they hit that mark, but we have been so spoiled lately with animation that works for adults and children, it is hard not to be disappointed with this outing. If you need to take your family to a movie, and they can’t wait for Ralph to break the Internet, The Grinch is a family movie that exists and is fine, and even better, it is short. Did you know you can get the Chuck Jones’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Blu-Ray for less than the price of a movie ticket?