Kim's Movie Review: BEASTLY
Published: March 11, 2011 - 9:00am
The film is an obvious modernized re-telling of Beauty and the Beast which, though enjoyable in it's own right, doesn't compare to the glory of the Disney animated film. For those who don't know the tale of Beauty and the Beast, here it is in a nutshell: Shallow handsome prince gets cursed and turned into a hideous beast. He then has a certain amount of time to gain the true love and affection of a beautiful girl, despite his horrific appearance, if he wishes to be turned back to normal.
In this film, Kyle Kingson (Alex Pettyfer) is the extremely shallow, naive, young man to be afflicted by classmate/witch, Kendra Hilferty (Mary-Kate Olsen), who turns him into a scarred and tattooed alteration of himself. After being set up at a “home away from home” by his father, who was obviously ashamed of his new looks, he becomes very isolated with the exception of his blind tutor Will (Neil Patrick Harris) and his maid Zola (Lisa Gay Hamilton).
Enter Lindy Taylor (Vanessa Hudgens), the "Beauty" to Kyle's “Beast.” After the most forced plot devise in the film, where Kyle blackmails Lindy's father into bringing her to live with him, the story unfolds with him trying to win Lindy's heart to break the curse.
The makeup used for Kyle's “ugly side” was not that impressive; for a supposed unsightly "beast" he wasn't that ugly. Storyline aside, the acting from the main cast members was decent. For those who see the comparison, they were a bit better than the cast of Twilight and I really did enjoy much of the dialogue.
Alex Pettyfer seemed to have decent chemistry with almost everyone he performed with. His scenes with Hudgens were okay, and while she was fine as the film's leading lady her character never evolved past “what you see is what you get." She had no character development throughout the storyline; at least none that was significant enough to be remembered. Neil Patrick Harris played the wise-cracking and very lovable character he usually plays, and all of his scenes with the various cast members flowed naturally.
Harris delivered much of the film's humor but he was not a convincing blind man; partly to how the role was written. Mary-Kate Olsen was bearable as her character the "witch"; but it was unfortunately never revealed how she was capable of the magic she did in the film.
A recycled storyline, yes, but I found it to be a cute flick. There were moments in the film that were really funny and I never found myself actually bored with the events going on. This film would be a good date movie to take your girlfriend, wife or even tween to; it has become a new guilty pleasure that I will add to my movie library despite it's inferiority to the Disney classic.