Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Dark Crystal - Movie Review

Directors: Jim Henson & Frank Oz, 1982
IMDB listing

Pros: amazing visuals (not special effects mind you, but the puppets and sets are amazing), attention to detail, strong female characters

Cons: simplistic plot, Jen's not that bright

The Dark Crystal is one of those movies I vaguely remember loving from my childhood. So I watched it with trepidation, wondering how it would hold up as an adult and afraid I'd hate it.

I didn't hate it, which was good. But I didn't love it either. It had great visuals - a well realized world with attention to detail (insects, critters, unique and interesting fantasy creatures) - but was a bit shy on the plot department.

The plot is simple. The evil Skeksis (creepy looking) and the good Mystics (also creepy looking) both appeared 1000 years ago when the dark crystal fractured and a shard fell out. Now, the last remaining Gelfling, Jen, must find and return the shard when the 3 suns align or the Skeksis will rule forever.

The movie's a traditional quest, with a rather naive and unworldly Jen trying to figure out what to do with the shard once he finds it.

The voiceover that narrates at certain points in the story could probably have been toned down as the characters themselves mention similar points. The quest itself quickly goes off course as Jen isn't given the information he needs to properly complete it. It's bizarre that the Mystics, who raised him, wouldn't train him in what would be required considering their future depends on his completing this mission.

On the whole, it's a worthwhile film to rewatch, though seeing it with kids might make you feel less guilty about the time spent.

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