The voices of Olivia Colman, Luke Evans and Jessie Buckley can’t enliven an ugly, joyless retread of the Dickens classic
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Unless it’s A Christmas Carol, the delightful Charles Dickens classic that nobody will leave well enough alone. If only the latest iteration, Scrooge, were content to revisit a magical old favorite. Instead Netflix’s psychedelic musical drains and dilutes, trading the original’s wit and heart for belted-out ballads, flame balls and what appear to be fire-eyed and gravity-defying trolls.
Before you write off this review as uncharitably Scroogey, take note: four children, ages eight to 11, gathered round the television to attend the screening. Plied with mugs of sugary cocoa, a frighteningly willing audience heeded the call of duty. Three of them were howling in disdainful laughter by minute two. Up on the screen, an entire village had broken out into a song and dance routine in which they merrily proclaimed: “I Love Christmas!” The fourth child, taking her film critic duties very seriously, quietly scribbled on her notepad: “What the heck???”