Beautiful Creatures Review

Beautiful Creatures finally hits the big screen, and although its packed with a great cast, the movie fails to fully impress. It fails to live up to the book its based upon, but movies rarely manage to catch all of the feeling and magic that the book captured. On it's own it's not all bad.

Ethan Wate longs to escape his small Southern town of Gatlin. The first day of his Junior year, his entire world changes when mysterious new girl Lena appears. The two are drawn together by turbulent elements, and soon become inseparable as they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.

New comers Alice Englert (Lena) and Alden Ehrenreich (Ethan) are endearing as the star-crossed lovers Lena and Ethan. Jeremy Irons plays Lena’s odd Uncle Macon, who’s hiding way more than what’s reveals, which is a shame since he’s not only a favorite book character but Irons is still a scene stealer, and I'll be honest, I needed more Macon. The man just knows how to command attention. Dropping breadcrumbs of Macon's and Ethan's mom knowing eachother is just a mean tease.

And the lack of character development doesn't stop there. Viola Davis is completely under utilized as Amma, Ethan’s Voodoo/Librarian Aunt. Emma Thompson is laughable as Link’s Mom and big bad host for Sarafine (Lena's mom). One of the biggest character tragedy is Emmy Rossum’s Ridley. She’s a caricature, whose cowardness bleeds all sympathy from her character. Sure Lena’s Siren cousin is suppose to be bad, but she should always sit on the brink of redemption. Ridley is a great and fun character, but she’s just badly written here.

What does work beyond Lena and Ethan's pairing is the special effects. Lena’s natural powers cause plenty of havoc, along with a caster battle that really isn’t warranted but is fun, and it does give the special effects guys plenty to do, and do well. The costuming department was pretty top notch as well. I'm not sure how historically accurate the period pieces were, but Genevieve looked amazing.

Overall, Beautiful Creatures wasn’t the movie that book fans deserved. It was fun, and sure I enjoyed it, but the threat felt forced, and well, not all that threatening. I'm not sure if Sarafine's power was to be a whiny manipulative brat, or what, but she herself was certainly no big bad wolf. Lena and Ethan’s love story, while well acted, feels like more of the recycled YA garbage that is out there, rather than the special bond that it is. I’m not expecting a sequel, and in this incarnation I’m not sad about that.


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