The Grinch (2000) Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Tambor, Clint Howard Movie Review

The Grinch (2000)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Taylor Momsen and Jim Carrey in The Grinch (2000) (aka: How the Grinch Stole Christmas)

How Jim Carrey Stole Christmas

He'a mean, green Christmas wrecking machine but Jim Carrey as The Grinch is also a lot of fun, in fact Ron Howard's "The Grinch", sometimes called "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” is fun from start to finish. It takes the popular Dr. Seuss story "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” and then elaborates on it as it explains why the Grinch hates Christmas. Considering "The Grinch" is a movie aimed at a young audience it is as much fun for adults with wonderfully imaginative sets, Anthony Hopkins delivering the rhyming narration and Jim Carrey excelling with his style of exaggerated humour.

The Grinch (Jim Carrey - Me, Myself & Irene), a mean, green hairy creature lives at the top of Mount Crumpit and really dislikes Christmas nearly as much as those friendly folk that live in Whoville love it. One night, feeling in an even worse mood than normal, he decides to sneak down to Whoville and whilst everyone is asleep steal all their Christmassy things to spoil all their festive cheer.

Christine Baranski, Jim Carrey and Jeffrey Tambor in The Grinch (2000) (aka: How the Grinch Stole Christmas)

Straight from the off "The Grinch" has that wondrous feel to it as director Ron Howard has not only captured the magical element through the fantasy set designs and costumes but also the fact that all those enhancements he has included to expand on the story add to the magical feel. In many ways the quirky, slightly scary side to "The Grinch", and it really isn't that scary, coupled with the fantasy element is very similar to what you would expect from one of Tim Burton's lavish productions. Whether Howard was attempting to emulate that Burton-esque feel or was trying to broaden his own creative horizons is neither here nor there, but it does mean that "The Grinch" leads us into a wonderful world of fantasy and never lets us return to reality until it's finished with us.

As previously mentioned "the Grinch" is derived from the Dr. Seuss book, one which many may have encountered during their childhood. But the good thing is that previous knowledge of Dr. Seuss's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” is not needed and can be enjoyed to its fullest even if you've never heard of The Grinch before. Where the movie differs from the story is in the inclusion of several elements which successfully attempt to expand on the original and explain why The Grinch loathes Christmas so much. What this does mean is that "The Grinch" is a much more rounded movie which although features numerous riotous scenes it has a very strong storyline binding them all together into a coherent tale. Although I can see that purists could be a little miffed at the adaptation and feel that the expanded story detracts from the well paced original.

One of the best things about Ron Howard's "The Grinch" is that although it obviously targets children especially when it comes to the lead up to Christmas, it also contains enough humour, much of which is very subtle, that will appeal to adults. Plus the wonderful costumes and lavish set designs will capture anyone's imagination.

When it comes to performances even a body suit and layers of green make up and latex on his face can't disguise Jim Carrey's typically exuberant antics on screen. From the exaggerated arm movements through to contorted face pulling this is Carrey doing what he does best. But unlike in some movies his over the top humour is not out of place and along with his voicing of The Grinch makes it a brilliant character from the sneering evil Grinch right through to the happier one. Although Carrey is obviously the star when it comes to "The Grinch" he is nearly outshone by a young actress called Taylor Momsen who is not only adorable as Cindy Lou but doesn't fall into the trap of being either annoying or overly sickly sweet. It's probably appropriate that in a children's movie that the innocence of a child actor competes with that of a more established star.

The narration from Anthony Hopkins which interjects once in a while is the perfect accompaniment to the movie. The smooth tones of Hopkins add an obvious warmth to the tale but is not intrusive when it suddenly appears to tell a little more of the story. The blend of narration and action works in perfect harmony and gives that feeling of a father reading the tale to his child. Although for those who associate Hopkins with his more famous role as Hannibal Lecter may find his tones slightly creepy rather than warming.

What this all boils down to is that as Christmas movies go Ron Howard's "The Grinch" may not be the best when it comes to delivering a warm fuzzy feeling during the lead up to the festivities. But it is remarkably entertaining through a well developed storyline, good acting and more importantly the fantasy element which a Dr. Seuss story deserves making it both appealing to children and adults alike.

Tags: Christmas Movies