Miscellaneous Reviews Festivals Lists Interviews
#
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
Here


web analytics

 

The Films of David Lowery

St. Nick

Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Pete's Dragon (September 7/16)

A remake of 1977's fairly unwatchable Pete's Dragon, Pete's Dragon follows a young boy (Oakes Fegley's Pete) as he survives a car crash that kills his parents and retreats into the woods - where he meets and befriends an enormous dragon he names Elliot. The bond between the two unlikely characters is inevitably tested, though, as Pete is found by several lumberjacks and brought into town (and into the care of Bryce Dallas Howard's Grace) - while Elliot faces discovery by a nefarious figure (Wes Bentley's Jack) bent on notoriety. It's clear immediately that David Lowery isn't looking to replicate the feel or tone of Pete's Dragon's disastrous predecessor, as the filmmaker, working from a script cowritten with Toby Halbrooks, has infused the proceedings with a lush, intensely cinematic feel that remains a consistent highlight. (It's clear, too, that the movie benefits from a series of impressively strong performances.) The movie's slow-but-steady downfall, then, can be attributed to an overly deliberate pace and excessively familiar narrative, with, in terms of the latter, Lowery and Halbrooks suffusing the midsection with one almost unreasonably hoary cliché after another - which increasingly alienates the viewer and makes it awfully difficult to work up any interest in the characters' progressively perilous exploits. It's not surprising to note, ultimately, that the third act's various emotional revelations are simply unable to pack the punch Lowery has clearly intended, and Pete's Dragon is, in the end, an awfully well-intentioned misfire that feels as though it should be so much better.

out of

© David Nusair