Reaction roundup: The Nutcracker in 3-D is probably the worst Christmas movie ever

Reaction roundup: The Nutcracker in 3-D is probably the worst Christmas movie ever

Hated it! The Nutcracker in 3-D 

There’s little in the world as simultaneously cringe-worthy and satisfying as a truly venomous film review. And while it may be wrong to merrily wallow in the bitingly clever critiques of someone else’s creative output, sometimes a film is so misguided that there’s little else one can do than collect the most vitriolic critics’ quotes and lovingly compile them in a blog post. Well, folks, that movie is director Andrei Konchalovsky’s The Nutcracker in 3D, and this is that blog post. Here, the best of the meanest from our local critics.

From the Globe and Mail:

“This special-effects-heavy, big-budget musical from expatriate Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky (Runaway Train, Tango and Cash) ranks as one of the most misguided children’s films ever made…despite problems ranging from the mishmash of accents, to the stilted performances and [Elle] Fanning’s questionable off-the-shoulder nightgown, the movie doesn’t turn entirely hideous until the arrival of John Turturro as the preening, Hitler-like Rat King.”

From the Toronto Sun:
The Nutcracker in 3D has its place in the slew of bad movies lately that have been released to test the shaky theory that audiences will watch anything as long as they have to pay an extra three dollars and wear stupid glasses…The working title of this film was reportedly Nutcracker: The Untold Story. If only.”

From the Toronto Star:
“The Nutcracker, when transformed into a prince, prefers to go by the handle N.C. Is that supposed to be contemporary cool? It isn’t.”

From the National Post:
“[Director Andrei Konchalovsky] changed the Mouse King into the Rat King, played by John Turturro but modelled on both Andy Warhol (hair, dress sense) and Adolf Hitler (leadership style, minions)… he dialed the pacing back and forth between plodding and frantic; alternating scenes in which characters stare in misty-eyed wonder at Christmas trees, and those that feature jetpack-wearing rats on speeding motorcycles, as though James Bond had invaded Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.”

The New Jersey Star-Ledger review is too good not to share:
“A movie for children in which robot dogs prowl alleys and razor-fanged vermin threaten little ones with torture? And which turns into a hardly subtle parable of Nazism, with storm troopers, promises of a ‘thousand-year’ rule and dolls burned in ovens until the skies turn black? I mean, this thing’s supposed to lose money, right? Right?”

So what was Konchalovsky thinking, turning one of the world’s most beloved ballets into a 3-D Nazi allegory? An quote from the director in the Los Angeles Times offers a telling clue:

“Sometimes, I stopped myself and said ‘Who will appreciate this?’ Then I said, ‘Big deal.'”

• The Nutcracker as Holocaust allegory: What was the director thinking? [Globe and Mail]
‘Nutcracker’ lacks kid appeal [Toronto Sun]
Nothing Sweet about newfangled Nutcracker in 3D [Toronto Star]
• The Nutcracker in 3-D: No sugar-plum-coating about it [National Post]
‘The Nutcracker in 3D’ review: Disturbing take on Tchaikovsky is so bad it’s actually frightening [New Jersey Star-Ledger]
Andrei Konchalovsky builds a strange maze with ‘The Nutcracker in 3D’ [Los Angeles Times]