On Thursday I caught a matinee of Pan’s Labyrinth, the new fantasy film by Guillermo Del Toro. The fantasy aspects were perfectly done—surreal and truly fantastic–and the direction was slick as butter. A lovely piece.
But boring. I didn’t care for any of the characters, and the plot just plodded along. Besides, I had problems with both plot threads: El Capitan and his pursuit of rebels, and Ofelia’s exploration of the labyrinth. But El Capitan was evil and shallow, so I didn’t care about his plot. And Ofelia’s trials quickly got dark and disturbing, and I really didn’t want to watch that.
So I walked out halfway through. Not because it was a bad film, but because it was insufficiently good. I’d rather spend that second hour, well, re-reading Lord of the Rings, if nothing else.
Side note: The only other Del Toro movie I’ve seen was Hellboy, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Both Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth are filled with self-absorbed characters who are paying the price for their self-absorbtion. Hellboy was interesting, because they were also bashing demons. In Pan’s, there was no other distraction. It became an artsy foreign film about suffering, egotistical Europeans, with a faun. No thanks.