Title: The Lion King
Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Donald Glover, Beyonce', Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, John Oliver, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, James Earl Jones, Keegan-Michael Key, John Kani
"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to thing if they should." 2019's The Lion King is one of the most bizarre movie-going experiences I've ever had. The original The Lion King isn't just one of my favorite animated films of all-time, it's one of my favorite movies of all time. It is still to this day, one of the only films that can make me weep like a little bitch. The movie does something to my soul. It digs deep into me like few films ever have. 2019's The Lion King, for all its photorealism, is almost completely devoid of all emotion. Sure, the effects wizardry on display is something quite extraordinary. However, there is something so soulless about these characters, it's really hard to grasp onto anything. Nostalgia, plays a big part in getting enjoyment out of The Lion King. Favreau, obviously knows the ropes when it comes to the effects here. He's taken what he learned from The Jungle Book, and improved on that tenfold. That being said, throughout the course of the film, one can't help but wonder why they just copied and pasted the original films' script. The original is so ingrained into my brain, it is really hard for me to hear the exact same movie coming out different voices. It is literal the same movie, almost shot-for-shot, with a few new things thrown in for good measure. The line deliveries here, are really weird as well. To reiterate what I said before, a lot of this feels very lifeless. The stilted delivery, almost feels like a conscious choice here. The animals act like real animals, and they very rarely show any emotion in their facial expressions. The mix doesn't really work, with a few exceptions. Enter Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, who both inject a spirited liveliness into their performances. They basically saved the film for me. Chiwetel Ejiofor, is also good as Scar, but not nearly as memorable as Jeremy Irons. I actually really liked how they handled the Be Prepared scene. Overall, The Lion King isn't exactly bad, and it's not exactly good. It's not quite Psycho remake territory, but it teeters on that a lot. It's an odd experiment of a film, that I'm curious to see how it stands the test of time.