The Most Scathing Lines From The First 'Lion King' Reviews
Currently sitting at 57% on Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews for the highly anticipated 'The Lion King' remake are coming in and they're... not great.
A Disney favourite, a remake of 'The Lion King' was probably inevitable, but early reviews state that the creative team's decision to keep the animals as realistic as possible has basically sucked the soul right out of the film.
But hey, we haven't seen it yet, so we'll let the reviews do the talking:
This soulless chimera of a film comes off as little more than a glorified tech demo from a greedy conglomerate -- a well-rendered but creatively bankrupt self-portrait of a movie studio eating its own tail.
This zombified digital clone of the studio’s first original cartoon feature is the Disney equivalent of Gus Van Sant’s “Psycho'.
"As the grown-up Simba, Donald Glover stays too above the fray. He’s ordinarily a fine actor, but here we sense a distance between his character and his voice... As Nala, Beyoncé suffers a similar fate. The talking lion might look realistic, but when we hear her dialogue, all we see is Beyoncé in a recording booth, reading lines."
From The New York Times:
"The songs don’t have the pop or the splendour. The terror and wonder of the intra-pride battles are muted. There is a lot of professionalism but not much heart."
"As an expansion of the 1994 film, 'The Lion King' says and adds little. It’s a half-hour longer than the original, but for no discernible reason. Scar has gone from being creepy to some kind of beta incel. Some of the campiness of the original, particularly from the hyenas, is gone, and even a (very) slightly expanded role for Nala still fails to offer anything interesting. 'The Lion King' has always been a film with quite a lot to say bubbling below its surface. But 2019’s telling adds bloat, and nothing more."
From The Know:
"The film’s creative team has picked a curiously small patch of ground to plant their story on, leaving one with a feeling of surface-level calm that is shattered whenever the animals do anything their real-life counterparts can’t."
From The Wrap:
"This is what it would actually look like if the events in a Disney animated movie happened in real life. Sometimes it’s fascinating, frequently it’s ludicrous, and sometimes — like when an incredibly realistic animal dies on-screen in front of you while its only child mourns him — it’s borderline grotesque."
From Us Weekly:
"This version is paint-by-numbers in terms of story recreation."
From The Chicago Tribune:
"Financially this cat’s in the bag. Cinematically, though, “The Lion King” reminds me of that 'Sweet Smell of Success' line delivered by Tony Curtis: 'The cat’s in the bag, and the bag’s in the river'."
From AV Club:
Joyless, artless, and maybe soulless, it transforms one of the most striking titles from the Mouse House vault into a very expensive, star-studded Disney Nature film.
"It’s as if every creative decision were subordinate to the film’s misguided insistence on realism, on keeping the mannerisms and movements of these magically intelligent creatures “believable.” And so, all the pleasures are not just secondhand but diminished: We’re watching a hollow bastardisation of a blockbuster, at once completely reliant on the audience’s pre-established affection for its predecessor and strangely determined to jettison much of what made it special."
"One gets the impression that there’s something very cheap at the core of this overtly, ostentatiously expensive film, reliant as it is on our memory of the original to accentuate every significant moment."
From Cinema Blend:
"The theatricality is only part of the issue. It’s also about the emotionality displayed by the characters. Walt Disney Animation Studios has a long legacy of masterful animators skillfully anthropomorphising animal characters and letting them show a wider-than-natural range of complex feelings, but that’s largely because they have the freedom to imbue noticeable human-like qualities in the work. Again, the 2019 Lion King can’t do that."
From Black Girl Nerds:
"The film doesn’t pull its own weight. Even with the outstanding, hyperreal CGI effects, the film falls flat — when it should have shined."
'The Lion King' is released in Australian theatres next Wednesday, July 17.
Feature image: Disney