A Very Busy Fantasy
Stardust, the new film from director Matthew Vaughn based on the story by Neil Gaiman, is a classic fantasy tale of romance, adventure and the clash between good and evil. It’s also liberally laced with whimsy and humor. Comparisons with The Princess Bride are inevitable. So, how does Stardust measure up? We’ll get to that.
The story in Stardust revolves around Tristran, an unlikely hero. All he really wants is to win the love of
Of course there’s more to the story. Also pursuing the star is a trio of evil witches who seek the star’s magic to restore their youth, beauty, and power. And if that weren’t enough, the sons of the deceased ruler of Stormhold seek a ruby that is linked to the star, with the one to reach it first becoming the new king. If you’re thinking that’s a lot of plot lines all wrapped around this star, you’re be right.
That’s really my one big problem with Stardust. There is an awful lot going on, all of the time. All of the stories are interesting, but it’s a lot to cram into a single movie. That explains a running time of just over two hours. And even at that, the story was trimmed down from the original novella. I might have been willing to trim more to make the story a little tighter. Still, the film kept my attention so it’s not a deal-breaker.
The cast in Stardust is a mixed bag. There are several well known actors, a few interesting cameos and some folks you probably haven’t heard of before. English actor Charlie Cox fills the shoes of Tristran and does an excellent job of it. Claire Danes plays Yvaine, who winds up being the real goal of Tristran’s quest. The two of them are great together; I thought the chemistry was very good.
Michelle Pfeiffer plays the role of
In the final analysis, I think Stardust is a solid movie and a good option for fans of the fantasy genre. It’s perhaps not quite as witty as The Princess Bride, but there’s enough humor and action to satisfy just about any movie-goer. Stardust doesn’t take itself overly seriously and that’s a good thing. The plot gets a little complex and there are several moments in the film that come off as contrived, but I think most people will be willing to overlook those minor quibbles and just sit back and enjoy the adventure.
Stardust is rated PG-13 for “fantasy violence and some risqué humor.” In general, most audiences will find little to bother them. If you have an issue with the concept of witchcraft, you probably aren’t even considering this one. I wouldn’t recommend you take small children; there are moments in the movie that they may find disturbing or frightening. In particular, the witches sacrifice animals for their spells. While it is never shown, it is strongly implied.
Courtesy of a local publicist, Michael attended a promotional screening of Stardust.