Netflix review: Stardust
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer,
Robert De Niro
Would you marry Sienna Miller? If so, what would you do to woo her? That’s the dilemma facing shopkeeper Tristan (Cox) from the quaint English village of Wall. Upon hearing that his rival is going all the way to Ipswich to get a ring, he ups the stakes: a shooting star from across the wall, where it is said there is a magical kingdom. Don’t believe it’s there? Well, it’s lucky that director Matthew Vaughn’s on hand to repeatedly track upwards over the wall every five minutes. It might not convince, but you’ll be too dizzy to care either way.
After half an hour of slow-paced exposition, Tristan finally crosses the wall. Bring on the exciting magical kingdom of Stormhold. Or, at least, meander around in it for a while until we stumble across an adventure.
It turns out there are lots of characters after the fallen star: evil witch Larnia (Pfeiffer), who wants to cut out the heart of the star and eat it to become young and pretty again, the numerically-named sons of Lord Stormhold (both alive and dead) vying for the throne, and the flying pirate Captain Shakespeare (De Niro). Oh, and just to make things really interesting, the star’s not a star after all. It is, in fact, Claire Danes.
Dragging around Danes on a rough course for home, Tristan puts up with her whining for a solid 40 minutes. Then, magically, the script changes pace, and she becomes a pleasant girl with a bit of a crush on him. Maybe it’s the haircut De Niro gives him, but he suddenly becomes a lot less gormless too. From then on, things settle down for a smooth ride to the climax.
Despite the uneven script, Stardust remains entertaining for the most part, clearly revelling in its all-star supporting cast, all of whom are keen to have a good time. You can even play spot the British comic among the dead sons of Lord Stormhold (Peter O’Toole) – just try to ignore Ricky Gervais, who turns up playing his annoying self.
An inconsistent film, Stardust briefly ascends to heights of hilarity before becoming weighed down by its over-long antics. The illogical ending doesn’t do much to help matters, but at least Matthew Vaughn and co-writer Jane Goldman (the wife of Jonathan Ross) are wise enough to kill off Gervais before the half-way mark.
Originally published on i-Flicks.net.