Review: How ‘The Grinch’ Stole My Money


Cody Downey

Walking into 2018’s “The Grinch,” I didn’t have very high expectations. It seemed passable, but nothing to get too excited over. Obviously, a college-aged student is not the intended audience for this film. But, when you have a four-year-old little brother, you tend to have to watch some things you don’t always care for.

“The Grinch” tells the same story as the 1966 television special and the 2000 live-action film. The Grinch hates Christmas with a passion. He feels left out by the Whos in Whoville. So, he decides that he is going to steal it from them so they can feel as miserable as he does. If you have seen either of it’s two predecessors, you know pretty much what happens in this film.

Most of the noticeable differences in this film come from the performances and the art style. The Grinch in this film is portrayed by “Doctor Strange” and BBC’s “Sherlockactor Benedict Cumberbatch. Based on the trailers alone, I didn’t think Cumberbatch was going to be a good choice for The Grinch. He didn’t sound Grinchy but more mildly annoyed. However, in the actual film, he did a great job. He could sound menacing whenever the scene required it and could be funny as well.

Aside from Cumberbatch, there were only a few other big-name actors. “Parks and Recreations” actress Rashida Jones played Donna Lou Who, the single mother of Cindy Lou Who, and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kenan Thompson played the Grinch’s self-appointed best friend Mr. Bricklebaum. Both provided serviceable performances but nothing to write home about. The rest of the characters were portrayed by child actors. They were all minor roles except for the character of Cindy Lou Who. Cindy’s actress, Cameron Seely, was very good for a child actress and did a fine job of bringing the character to life.

The film also had a narrator in the form of musician Pharrell Williams. The inclusion of this narration almost felt pointless. He wasn’t disruptive, but he had no good reason to be there.

The film mostly relied on physical comedy to give the audience enjoyment. For the most part, it worked fine. The audience I was with laughed at the things they were supposed to laugh at. Most of it was amusing simply for the fact that it didn’t take much thought to understand it.

Another factor of the film was its art style. The Grinch, to put it simply, looks almost adorable. In stark contrast to other adaptations, he doesn’t look that menacing. You can tell he was designed to be a plush sold at Universal Studios. This isn’t a bad thing though. The film was nice to look at and was very simplistic in its nature.

All in all, “The Grinch” is a fine movie for the young ones in your family. It isn’t a film that is needed to be seen in theaters and is more suited to be watched on a DVD that you bought on a Black Friday sale. The average college student may not enjoy it, but it may provide a nice moment to gather the family around for an hour and a half of mindless entertainment.

Six out of ten.