Film review: The Grinch

Kudos to the genius who had the idea to release a film about a being who hates Christmas in November. That’s a finger on the zeitgeist right there.

The Grinch is the latest 86-minute adaptation of a 69-page children’s book. It depicts Benedict Cumberbatch’s Grinch as he plans his dastardly scheme while Whoville prepares for Christmas. Also, bizarrely, Pharrell Williams features as the narrator, spouting out Dr Seuss’ classic whimsical rhyming accompaniment.

I mean what can I really say here? It’s the Grinch. You know the Grinch. There was that live action one with Jim Carrey that everyone likes for some reason and also the far superior 1966 cartoon. The new film is just all that again.

Because they insist on dragging this story you could tell in one sentence out to 90 minutes, there’s always some addition to the source material. In the 2000 one, it was an unsettling glimpse into the Grinch’s childhood and his longstanding relations with Whoville’s residents. In this one, it’s more about the plan to steal Christmas itself and the inventing the gear and plotting the heist.

The problem I have with any adaptation of the Grinch is trying to convince myself that the Grinch’s resentment of Whoville’s residents isn’t completely justified. By their nature, they’re sickeningly saccharine and overly sugared. I realise that that’s the point of the story’s morale but I can’t say that I wouldn’t despise them as well.

To be honest, The Grinch doesn’t really do anything terribly badly or notably brilliant. It sticks safely to the material and stays in its lane and for that, I can neither commend or condemn it. Kids will probably like it because they more or less like anything. Same reason the Jim Carrey one is remembered fondly. Meow.

Finally, this film features by far the worst version of the You’re a mean one, Mr Grinch song. It’s absolutely abhorrent and considering the one from 2000 is awful too, I’m really saying something there.