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July 24, 2012 / milesandhisfavorites

An Honest, Unbiased Review of Labyrinth

Well, okay, maybe a little bias.  See, Labyrinth was the second full-length non-Muppet film produced by the Jim Henson Company, four years after The Dark Crystal.  When I saw it for the first time on Netflix, I fell in love with it.  The story, the puppetry, the music (well, really just one song), they were all fun to watch.  But is Labyrinth really that great?

Well, it isn’t Casablanca (my favorite movie of all time).  It’s about a teenage girl named Sarah, who, angry because she’s been forced to babysit her annoying baby brother Toby, summons the Goblin King, Jareth.  Jareth takes Toby away to his castle, which lies in the center of a vast magical labyrinth.  So, in order to get her brother back, Sarah has to get to the castle in thirteen hours.  There are fun and confusing characters, decent special effects (at least for the ’80s), and a ton of whimsical mystery.

So what works in this movie?  Well, a lot.  The story, while weird and a little confusing, is interesting and unique.  The characters are similar.  You’ve got the dwarf, Hoggle, a giant horned thing named Ludo, and a cross between Don Quixote and Beverly Hills Chihuahua named Sir Didymus.  David Bowie (commence female swooning) is a sly, well-done villain, and the completely random dance number involving the goblins is awkward, but still fun to watch.  The visuals are just amazing.  There’s a climax set in a three-dimensional M.C Escher painting, and the final “you have no power over me” scene is played really well.

But, there are still problems, like any movie.  For one thing, Jennifer Connelly as Sarah is pretty boring, at least acting-wise.  Actually, the acting overall isn’t that great, except maybe Jareth, but then again, he’s SUPPOSED to be over-the-top.  Also, the music, excluding Magic Dance and maybe Chilly Down, isn’t very memorable.

So, pros of Labyrinth: creative story, good villain, excellent puppetry, and great visuals.  Cons: The acting isn’t very good, and most of the music is forgettable.  I give this movie a 7/10.  It holds up okay, and it’s still a fun family movie.  Just keep in mind, there is some minor cursing and possibly frightening images.  Enjoy!

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