Recently, the long awaited Artemis Fowl movie was released on Disney+. As a huge fan of the book series, I’ve been looking for news about this movie since I was nine. You can imagine my devastation when I found out that it was supposed to come out in 2008, but never did. I assumed the movie was never going to come out until I stumbled across a casting call in 2017. The casting call said, “Artemis is warm-hearted and has a great sense of humor, he has fun in whatever situation he is in and loves life.” If you have read the Artemis Fowl books, you would know that that is pretty much the exact opposite of Artemis’s character. I decided then that the movie was going to be terrible.
The released cast list only further solidified my low expectations of the movie. e. Why was Holly so young? Why was Commander Root a woman? (I understand the need for diversity, but Root being a man and Holly being the only woman was valuable to the plot.)
When the trailer came out, I thought it couldn’t get any worse.
It had gotten worst.
My expectations for this movie were on the ground, but this movie somehow went lower than that.
I could name maybe one scene that was actually in the book – and even that scene changed things. There was nothing at all about this movie that made it Artemis Fowl. Its plot is completely different from the book. In fact, even the selling point of the book – Artemis being a villain – isn’t included in the movie. While they do attempt to make him a villain, it was poorly executed due to the complete lack of evil in his character. Artemis claims to be a criminal mastermind, but he doesn’t really do anything that could be considered criminal. The bad things he does are justified, and he doesn’t even go through with them. Taking away this part of his character takes away his entire character. I think the only similarity between the book and movie I could name plotwise is the characters’ names. At this point, they might as well have made an entirely new movie.
This movie also unnecessarily changes things. Throughout the entire book, everyone addresses Artemis’s butler as Butler. We don’t even find out his name until the third book, because he is not allowed to tell anyone his name unless he’s about to die. However, in the movie, the narrator says to only call Butler by his real name, Domovoi, or Dom, but never by Butler. This change literally makes no sense, as it makes no difference in the movie at all, and even takes away from the plot of a possible third movie. They could’ve just kept Butler’s name how it is in the books and this movie would’ve remained the same. Speaking of Butler, his sister in the books, Juliet, is suddenly his niece in the movie? This is another change that has no impact. It’s like the writers, McPherson and McColl, read the Artemis Fowl book, and decided they would change as much as they could.
Not only was this movie completely inaccurate, but it wasn’t even good as a standalone movie. For example, the Aculos, the item Artemis and Butler spend the movie chasing after, is hardly explained. As the viewers don’t know what an Aculos is, they can not grow invested in the plot. I’m still not sure what the Aculos was supposed to be. It’s really just a pointless object used to move the story along. It feels like Disney thought the plot was too dark, so decided to give it a flat, uninteresting plot with flat, uninteresting characters instead.
Regarding characters, we know very little about them by the end of the movie . There’s no character development, and the movie fails to teach us about the characters through their relationships with each other. Holly and Artemis’s relationship has no development; it goes directly from enemies to friends forever. Artemis and Butler’s relationship isn’t touched on, either. None of the characters had a chance to showcase their personalities or have relationships because this movie is so poorly paced. It could be called fast-paced, but in the way that makes you feel like you went to the bathroom in the middle of a scene and are trying to understand what you missed constantly. There were so many points in the movie where my family was asking each other what was going on, because the movie is so confusing.
I didn’t like a single thing about this movie. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but for something I was waiting for for so long, it was a huge disappointment. It’s not representative of the book at all and just isn’t a good movie. However, I did like one scene, so maybe I’ll give it a one out of ten.