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Friday, August 12, 2011

342. Horrid Henry


    This is surreal. I have just got back from the cinema to see London going up in flames on Sky News.
    Now I'm writing a review of Horrid Henry. Talk about two different worlds.
    The fact is that I can scarcely remember a movie I saw just over an hour ago, so powerful have been the images from the riots.
    But, in the name of fair play, I will try my best.
    Actually, I suspect director Nick Moore and his team would prefer I kept my thoughts to myself because Mrs W and I thought his movie was..well,...horrid.
    Based on the books by Francesca Simon and the animated TV series, it boasts an all-star, mainly British cast.
    But it never really feels like a movie, instead having the appearance of one of those grossly over-acted children's TV shows.
    There is one redeeming feature, however. Anjelica Huston is glorious in her role as Ms Battleaxe.
    She plays the matronly teacher of Horrid Henry's class whose behaviour is so bad that it prompts inspectors to decide to close down the school.
    What can Henry do to help save it? Team up with arch enemy Moody Margaret, that's what.
    We watched Horrid Henry in an almost empty cinema and, therefore, didn't get a vibe for whether the sick, snot and breaking wind gags would have worked for the under-10s at whom they are fair and squarely aimed.
    As it happened the laughometer was not required. Instead I needed to be prodded to keep me awake.
    To be fair Theo Stevenson does a decent job in the title role but is somewhat overshadowed by Scarlett Stitt (Margaret) and Ross Marron (Perfect Peter).
    It's the British adult actors, however, who jar so badly.
    From David Schneider to Jo Brand, from Richard E Grant to Kimberley Walsh (yes, her from Girl's Aloud), from Dick and Dom to Noel Fielding from the Mighty Boosh, they all look like they have lessons from a bad pantomime dame.
    Mrs W makes the point that it would have all been so much slicker and funnier if it had been made by Americans.
    Their child stars tend to have more screen presence and their adult actors tend to hold back on the ham.
    But it wasn't and, while it was ultimately harmless, it was also funless and deserved just 3.5/10.
    By the way, we didn't watch it in 3D, so I can't comment on whether the extra payment was worth it.


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342. Horrid Henry


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