“The Greatest Showman” Review ✦✧✧✧✧

27 December, 2017

Director: Michael Gracey
Screenwriters: Jenny Bicks, Bill Condon
Director of Photography: Seamus McGarvey
Hugh JackmanMichelle WilliamsZac Efron

Synopsis: A musical re-imagining of the life of showman P. T. Barnum who founded the Barnum & Bailey Circus in the late 1800s, sparking a worldwide sensation and tempting him to take on more ambitious entertainment projects.

The Greatest Showman Review:

A debut music show from visual effects man Michael Gracey whose helming of a Hugh Jackman passion project screams rushed job and a lack of direction. “The Greatest Showman” is modern day spectacle without the audience-uniting properties of recent hits like “La La Land” and “Les Misérables,” proving dedicated to its art yet deftly mediocre in its presentation. “Moulin Rouge!” for dummies, barely impressing the musical theatre crowd or those with an ounce of passion for vaudeville or circus craft, the film feels like a garish and aimless production, becoming self-serving in its exploits with scenes more gimmicky than a side street coin trick.

The very worst kind of musical with a flimsy structure barely hidden behind endless tunes and colourful distractions, “The Greatest Showman” conceals hoaxes within hoaxes, exuding a false passion and miming the words as Hugh Jackman’s booming voice and Zac Efron’s dance moves prove about the only arresting elements in a film masked by false flags and spliced talent. Rendering even Sam Humphrey’s miniature stature unbelievable under layers of unnecessary CGI, the film shows little confidence in its supporting stars, masking talent behind edits and substandard choreography while failing to effectively balance everyone’s screen-time.

Cursed by an outrageous final message as Jackman’s titular showman crawls back to past friends without an apology, the movie proves utterly lost as a work of semi-fiction, giving us little to applaud in the closing credits and very few kind words to say about its mismatched cast of characters. Missing a decent story and far more of a genre piece than the advertising materials dare to suggest, “The Greatest Showman” would struggle to fill half an hour without a string of forgettable musical numbers, proving a cinematic failure even if it manages to to deceive a forgiving, turkey-stuffed audience.


Review Date
The Greatest Showman