When did Scrooge become a zombie.
Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) begins the Christmas holiday with his usual miserly contempt, barking at his faithful clerk (Gary Oldman) and his cheery nephew (Colin Firth). But when the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come take him on an eye-opening journey revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he must open his heart to undo years of ill will before it’s too late.
I don’t know why I even put that synopsis there considering everybody knows and loves this story. However, Robert Zemeckis wants to do something totally cool, hip and different to this story: put the whole story in 3-D. Even better, with motion-capture. Yikes.
I still don’t understand why Zemeckis has become so obsessed with this whole gimmick of having these computer-animations look like real people and also be in 3-D, although I do have to say that it does look quite pretty. The film looks stunning with a lot of great transitions from one are to the other and plenty of other times where I felt like I was on this adventure with Scrooge and although I didn’t see it in 3-D, I do have to say that it was stunning as it was.
However, I don’t understand why anybody, let alone an Oscar-winning director, would ever get the bright idea of adapting a Charles Dickens novel that is about 150 years old into 3 dimensions. It also didn’t help that all of the CG characters look pretty freakin’ creepy especially when they’re smiling or crying, because they just look like their constipated. Don’t get me wrong this flick is almost like a painting brought to life, in some ways, but if you look too closely you can almost see all of the characters eyes look flat or dead.
The other problem with this gimmick is the fact that the film feels more like a spectacle rather than actually giving us the heart that lies behind this beautiful story. ‘A Christmas Carol’ is a wonderful tale that should and probably will be around for the next 200 years because it just gives off this positive and loving energy that Christmas gives to everybody during this wonderful season. It’s a timeless classic but the film doesn’t seem too hell-bent on making that story come to life here and rather just use it as the back-bone for making it all look pretty.
There was also barely any comedy and when the film tries to be sly and witty with it’s little side comments, it fails and just seems flat. Also, the film can be pretty dark and the times when I saw the three ghosts pop-up, I was more freaked out rather than intrigued. I mean just take a look at Christmas Past. Don’t tell me that doesn’t make you wanna wet your bed on Christmas Eve!
While reading the opening credits, I was excited to see names like Gary Oldman, Robin Wright, and Cary Elwes were all going to be in the movie but it wasn’t long until I realized that this was Jim Carrey‘s show, and those stars are barely ever in it. Carrey is good at playing these animated characters, especially all of the Spirits but when he plays Scrooge it seems like he is just either yelling or mumbling something under his breath. He plays half of the characters here and he at least had me entertained.
Consensus: A Christmas Carol is very good to look at, a fun roller-coaster, and features a great performance from Jim Carrey, but the film feels more like a spectacle that loses the heart, humor, and overall feeling that the original Charles Dicken novel fed off so well. However, if you want a nice little holiday treat, that is in 3-D, check it out.