Arthur and the Invisibles B-

Leave it to French action director Luc Besson to insert controversial themes in an animated kids film. Arthur and the Invisibles contains subtle references to sex and its influence on marriage seemingly throughout its short running time. It’s as if he’s channeling Jet Li’s discovery of sex in Unleashed, but to a lesser more kid-friendly degree. In Arthur and the Invisibles, Arthur played by a live action Freddie Highmore, has to go through the same hardships as he did in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – he’s poor. Well he’s sick of it, but instead of going to Michael Jackson — I mean Willy Wonka’s — Never-Never Land, he goes off to the land of the invisibles – a group of CGI dwarvish creatures that possess some stones that are worth a lot of money. As Freddie Highmore turns into one of them, the films turns into a CGI-fest complete with some excellent animations that put Happily N’ever After to complete and utter shame. Unfortunately, this film fails in almost all other areas. Lets face it – Luc Besson isn’t the right director for this type of film. His unconventional cuts and edits may be appropriate for a film like say, The Fifth Element, but I don’t think kids will get his retrospective flashbacks, neither stylistically nor content-wise. Heck, even I got confused by the fast-paced, no-breaks-allowed, flow of the film. This is Besson in full-on action mode, when he should instead slow down and let us look at the details of this beautiful technical achievement. As it is now though, Arthur and the Invisibles is a needlessly frustrating film to sit through, not because of its story which is great, but because of the way we are told it.

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