144 of 175 people found the following review helpful
Pure, nonsensical satisfaction!,
This review is from: Willow (Special Edition) (DVD)
"Willow" is a mixed bag of different movie venues and audience reactions, ranging from originality to predictability, from exciting to downright weird. It lacks the ingenuity and spirit of such child-oriented movies as "The Neverending Story" and "The Goonies," but for the most part, it pays off, and you may be surprised to find yourself enjoying different sections of the film.
The beginning is wonderful, a highly suspenseful opening in which an evil queen brings all pregnant mothers in her kingdom before her in hopes of locating and destroying the one chosen to bring her reign of terror to an end. A midwife smuggles the child out of the castle, and before she is set upon by wildebeests, she sends the child floating down the river, where it comes to the attention of the Nelywn community.
In the world of "Willow," there are two sets of people: the Nelwyns, a community of short, midget people, and the Daikinis, regular-sized humans. The baby is a Daikini, and so Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) is called upon to return the baby to its original habitat. Setting out on the dangerous journey, he soon meets adventurous Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), and the two pair up to take the baby to its destination, which changes almost every minute as they encounter such beings as a forest fairy, and a sorceress who comes in the form of a rat, a bird, a goat, etc.
The movie isn't really interested in setting a straight course for itself. The constant changing of setting, pace, and destination are all a reminder that a movie such as this is more of a device for action and humor rather than logical plot. Because this movie is aimed at children, and has a childlike quality of its own, it gets away with such a tactic.
Having said that, the film is exceptionally entertaining. It's full of humor and yes, even a little bit of suspense, likeable characters, who are sometimes so goofy and cumbersome that you'll laugh until you cry, and a story that is the stuff dreams are made of. Kilmer's character is a throwback of sorts to the swashbuckling heroes of yesteryear, while Davis is a hero as well, and the one we all come out rooting for.
The action sequences are mindless good fun, ranging from a high-speed horse chase to some showdowns at various castles throughout the land. These scenes all give Lucas and director Ron Howard a chance to showcase some of the finer set pieces in a children's movie, from knights in armor and beautiful yet foreboding vistas, to dark, gothic castles and otherworldly creatures conjured out of magical powers.
Watching the movie as an adult proves to be far different than from seeing it in my childhood. As a child, I remembered the excitement of such scenes, and looking back on them, I find that it is unfair to dismiss the movie on its logic. I do find that some scenes are somewhat disturbing for younger children, at whom the movie is aimed, such as the sequence in which a two-headed dragon rises out of a river; they seem a bit too daring for a children's movie.
The fantasy land created in "Willow" lives up to the expectations of the genre, and even goes a bit further. The story is a bit befuddled, but paying attention to its flaws takes away from the fun and excitement it has in spinning its tale. The special effects are dazzling without being jaw-dropping, and the action is intense without being gratuitous. As a children's movie, "Willow" is pure, nonsensical satisfaction.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 16, 2010, 9:30:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2010, 9:31:16 PM PDT
Layla Phillips says:
In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2011, 11:45:26 PM PDT
D. Litton says:
I have just one word for you: punctuation.
In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2011, 11:48:37 PM PDT
D. Litton says:
And it's nice to know that there's at least 119 other people who would disagree with your assessment of my writing skills. I'd be willing to bet money that at least 75% of those people know how to use commas and periods, too. Next time you want to disagree with someone's opinion, perhaps you might want to utilize a spelling and grammar-checking program. And by the way, it's my opinion. Everyone's entitled to one; you hated my review, and I disagree with your interpretation of it.
Posted on Dec 13, 2011, 2:08:30 PM PST
Isn't it funny how the movies we love as children we grow up and rewatch as adults and see in a whole different light? I have a feeling when I rewatch Willow soon with my children I probably won't enjoy it as much as I did as a child either! I find that happens a lot as I rewatch old movies; the graphics are nowhere as good as they seemed when I was a little one (technology as improved so much since then), things aren't as scary as they were back then or they seem scarier in perspective to my having children, (as you pointed out with the dragon, from a parent's point of view, very scary, as a child I remember him being a little scary but no nightmare's or anything), and so on. But I just agree with you and find it interesting myself how things change for us and what we enjoy and our children even know will love, and Willow is a brilliant children's movie; changes so much once we grow up and look back in retrospect and see it again in a whole new light! Thanks for the review, and just for the record I don't think you were long-winded and boring at all, I found your review interesting and well written, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. People shouldn't attack one another just because they disagree. Take care.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012, 4:59:03 AM PST
snowcat 60 says:
@Shilom: I bet when you rewatched this movie, you laughed out loud -- maybe even more than when you were a kid! I love this movie and I am an older adult. It is just pure fun and entertainment for all ages.
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