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The Brothers Grimm
2005 - PG-13 - 118 Mins.
Director: Terry Gilliam
Producer: Daniel Bobker
Written By: Ehren Kruger
Starring: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Lena Headey, Peter Stormare, Monica Bellucci
Review by: Joe Rickey
Official Site:

Heath, meet your maker.
Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm (Matt Damon and Heath Ledger) are known throughout Germany as the ones to contact when your village becomes overrun with all forms of "ghosts and goblins" even if it turns out that said ghosts are just their cohorts all dressed-up. Thus, they essentially concoct a hoax that leads to them getting paid a handsome sum. The brothers find themselves in hot water when they're arrested by French officers for numerous charges. They must either go on trial where the end result is likely to be their executions or rid the surrounding countryside of the terrible evil that has been snatching children. Their subsequent investigation, aided by a beautiful woman (Lena Headey), leads them to believe that a wicked queen (Monica Bellucci) is to blame. Can they muster the courage to venture deep into the forest and confront the wickedness therein? Most likely, you won't care whether they do or not because 'The Brothers Grimm' is a slapdash mix of adventure, horror, and comedy that rarely works and instead frequently bores.

'The Brothers Grimm' attempts to create a combination of the uniquely British humor that director Terry Gilliam (the 'Monty Python' films) is famous for and fantastical horror similar to what Tim Burton offered in 'Sleepy Hollow.' This attempt ends up alienating the viewer as the humor consistently falls on deaf ears, corny and all too self-aware for its own good, and the horror/action-adventure elements are terribly undernourished and/or incoherently staged. Director Gilliam seems at a loss when attempting to generate excitement as his vision of action sequences usually involves a meek attempt at MTV style editing gussied up with some special effects that are far from special. The CGI creation that is the murderous gingerbread man has to be seen to be believed as the effects are laughable. In this day and age when films like 'King Kong' can ably create an brilliantly realized creation like Kong effects like those seen in this film are inexcusable.

The performances do nothing to help matters. Both Damon and Ledger seem to realize that they are in a doomed project with a director way in over his head and thus expend as little visible effort as possible, with Damon faring a slight better because he occasionally sees fit to come to life in a vain attempt to bring life to the plodding proceedings. Ledger, currently receiving raves for his performance in Ang Lee's 'Brokeback Mountain,' is a lifeless cypher; a barely cogent void bringing less than nothing to the film, if that is at all possible. His performance in 'A Knight's Tale' looks Oscar worthy compared to what he presents here. Supporting performances by the likes of Bellucci, Peter Stormare, and Headey succeed to varying degrees with the similarity that they all exude more presence than what is offered by the two male leads.

There are countless better ways to spend your time than watching the cluttered, cheap bore that is Terry Gilliam's 'The Brothers Grimm.'
Movie Guru Rating
A train wreck.  So bad some may find it unintentionally entertaining.
  1 out of 5 stars

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