written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn
based on the novel by Neil Gaiman
directed by Matthew Vaughn
Just as I sat down to watch this adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 1998 fantasy novel, my wife told me “I’ve seen it and it’s pretty good, but you’re not gonna like it.” I paid no attention and pressed play – after all, I liked Gaiman’s stuff, the film had some pretty decent reviews, and hell, no one tells me what I will or will not enjoy, least of all a woman (I’m kidding, dear, please don’t make me sleep on the couch again).
Of course, wife always knows best: Halfway through Stardust I kept wondering why I didn’t just read the book.
The first half hour or so is actually kind of fun, with a whimsical, loose atmosphere that took me back to the much better The Princess Bride (1987). But whereas that film maintained its tone throughout, Stardust soon becomes a mess, with scenes that go nowhere, jokes that fall flat, and a central romance between a grocery boy (Charlie Cox) and a fallen star (Claire Danes) that’s sadly devoid of chemistry. Even Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro, playing a witch and a transvestite pirate, seem bored. And a transvestite pirate should never seem bored. Skip Stardust and spend your night with Iñigo Montoya again.
Carlos I. Cuevas