Charlie Cox, Claire Danes
Yvaine: You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn’t true. I know a lot about love. I’ve seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate… It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves… You could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional, but I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing…
Long ago, in a town called Wall, a young man, Tristan (Cox), crosses over the wall around the city to retrieve a falling star in order to prove his love to a girl, Victoria. He enters another realm, called Stormhold, where all kinds of magic exists. He finds the star, in the form of a girl, Yvaine (Danes), who was knocked out of the sky by a special necklace that is to be worn by the next king of Stormhold. Following me so far? Tristan wants to bring Yvaine back to show to Victoria, but he has competition for her. Also trying to get her is an evil witch, Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer), and a prince who needs the necklace she wears in order to claim his place as the new king.
This is a busy, but enjoyable, movie that I would best describe as a blending of The Princess Bride, Lord of the Rings, It Happened One Night, Willow, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. It tries to have a little bit of everything: comedy, sci-fi, fantasy, adventure, and romance. Amazingly, it never really seems to be too cluttered, though I thought some of the stuff with the flying pirate ship was a little frivolous and lagged a bit.
The performances are mostly good. Even Claire Danes’ British accent wasn’t a distraction. I think her character could have come off as whiney and annoying if she hadn’t played it right, but she does a good job and is likable throughout. I can’t say the same for Robert De Niro’s odd performance though. I thought he was miscast a little bit. I think they needed an actor that would go all out with the role, which he sort of seemed reluctant to do.
There’s quite a bit of violence in this movie, though most of it is played for laughs, as there’s very little blood seen at all, despite multiple killings. It certainly earns the PG-13 rating though.
Fun movie, creative plot, good performances, quality comedy, and a nice romance. What more do you want?
10 – 1.3 for De Niro’s odd performance/character – .6 for a couple of dull patches = 8.1