Using the most impressive animation features I’ve ever seen on film, “Beauty and the Beast” lavishly ties the Disney spirit with the eye-raising brilliance of a Broadway production.
Patrick King, REEL BRIEF
In the best opening weekend for the month of March ever, Disney’s live-action movie “Beauty and the Beast” hauled in a record-breaking $170 million in the U.S. alone. The wholesome love story also flexed its animation muscle globally, taking in a record $350 million worldwide—making it the biggest PG-rated film opening in North American history and the 7th best grossing weekend of all-time.
Using the most impressive animation features I’ve ever seen on film, “Beauty and the Beast” seamlessly blends its charismatic Disney characters amongst some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Academy Award-winner Bill Condon (“Gods and Monsters”) directs a talent-rich cast that includes Emma Watson, Kevin Kline, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.
Although easily predictable, the lone letdown in the film is the performance by leading lady Watson. The “Harry Potter” veteran is the movie’s weakest link–both in her acting and singing. Watson’s tentative and lackluster showing as Belle gets magnified opposite a stellar job from Dan Stevens as the cursed prince and Beast. Likewise, a superb supporting castle crew invokes charm and laughter amidst a handful of dangerous, uncertain moments.
“Beauty and the Beast” sells its heartwarming romance tale through sheer compassion and straightforward storytelling. Nicely sidestepping too graphic altercation scenes, the movie promotes goodness from within its varied animated souls. Racing against time, Belle and Co. are challenged to save others…beginning with her father.
This invigorating love story gets stronger in its pointed message and comedic delivery as the film gallops forward. It lavishly ties the Disney spirit with the eye-raising brilliance of a Broadway production. Even Watson’s underwhelming song and act routines can’t dull a likable Beast and magical cast. In the second strongest, non-summer opening weekend ever, “Beauty and the Beast” shines bright. Very bright. Take the entire family and enjoy!
“Beauty and the Beast” is rated PG for some action, violence, peril and frightening images. Its running time is 2 hours and 9 minutes.
© 2017, Patrick. All rights reserved.
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