Dumbo (2019)

Dumbo (2019 film).pngDirector: Tim Burton
Running Time: 112 Minutes
Starring: Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Alan Arkin, Nico Parker, Finley Hobbins, Roshan Seth, DeObia Oparei, Joseph Gatt, Sharon Rooney, Michael Buffer

The first of Disney's live-action/CG remakes released this year, Tim Burton has been given the reins to helm the reimagining of the 1941 film. Considering the original feature ran for 64 minutes, it makes sense for the story to be expanded upon, and taken down new avenues. While it's commendable to see something new being attempted, especially when Tim Burton's visual style fits well in this setting, the ensuing 112 minutes unfortunately feel rather dull and overlong.

Returning from the war, Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) has to adjust to how much his life has changed. The loss of his wife leaves him a single father to two, and he's unable to continue his circus job performing on horseback, due to losing his left arm in the war. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) hires him to take care of a newborn elephant named Dumbo, whose oversized ears make him an unfortunate target for ridicule. That all changes when Holt's children discover the elephant can fly with his ginormous ears, which brings the attention of entrepreneur V. A. Vandevere, who sets out to make Dumbo into a star.

A man entirely changed upon his return from war, Colin Farrel is certainly a talented performer that's doing his best with the material as Holt. There's an interesting idea in Holt trying to connect with his children while looking after this elephant, be it the kids relating to Dumbo's loss of a mother, or Holt learning to cope with an unchangeable physical issue as Dumbo lives with his gargantuan ears. Sadly, it's all too perfunctory to work, and ends up missing the mark emotionally. Considering the children are such an integral part, it doesn't help how boring they come off as. The cute design of the eponymous elephant can only go so far.

When there's enough material here to fit a feature film, a toupee wearing Michael Keaton and his Disneyland style funfair feels largely unnecessary, with Eva Green coming off as a wasted plot device. Granted, it allows us to see his delightful performance, but it just leaves the film to needlessly drag on, feeling unending. Special mention is deserved for Danny DeVito and Alan Arkin, who are reliable as ever while playing to type.

Dumbo wants to make you believe an elephant can fly, but can't make you believe it needs to last nearly 2 hours. Long-drawn-out as the elephants ears, emotionally affecting as a pamphlet for carpet cleaning, it's ultimately a tiresome affair.

2 stars` photo 2stars.jpg