It’s very possible that some of you may be thinking, “Steve, why would you watch this?”
Well, aside from there really not being any movies that I really want to see lately, my friend Jessie gave me a list of Netflix movies that I should see because she wanted my take on them. She ended her message to me with “They are typically awful movies but these weren’t… so bad…..”
So I took a look at the list and realized that I had no idea what any of these movies were, so what the hell? I mean… none of them could possibly be as bad as the worst thing I’ve ever seen on Netflix…
A Monster in Paris can really be summed up in four words: It is for children.
There’s a couple of nuggets of enjoyment that I had while watching, but at the end of the day, the story is dumb, the characters are fairly simplistic, the conflict is arbitrary, and the attention to detail is mostly lacking.
The beginning of the film was actually fairly intriguing and entertaining. It is probably one of the most humorous and surprising uses of dream sequences I’ve ever seen. However, considering it did not fit the tone of the rest of the movie though, I can’t help but wonder why it was even there at all.
Afterwards, we are introduced to Emile and Raoul. Emile is a leprechaun looking guy who really wants to ask out this one girl that he works at the movie theater with. Raoul is basically an imbecile. There’s not many surprises to be had by either of their character arcs, and the humor between them is largely simple or hyperbolic, but there were times when they made me chuckle.
Meanwhile, there’s some woman named Lucille who’s a great singer and is romantically sought after by the police commissioner.
Quick swivel to the police commissioner real quick: he is the purest definition of a cartoony villain I have ever seen (and not in a good way). At first I thought I understood his character: he’s self-obsessed and he wants to marry Lucille, the seemingly prettiest woman in Paris.
But then later he changes into some sort of sociopath, and he almost immediately throws away his feelings for Lucille at the drop of a dime.
Then, he basically goes insane. Because plot I guess. Because he just starts shooting things and laughing maniacally and being the dumbest person in the entire world. The movie basically needs him to be bad, but I guess they didn’t want to put in the effort necessary to make his motivations consistent, relatable, or even understandable.
But hey, it’s for children, so I guess they decided that they were going to take advantage of the lazy audience demographic.
Back to Lucille, from the very get-go, they establish that she does not like the commissioner whatsoever, but then when she gets the chance to easily push him aside with his tail tucked between his legs, she instead lets him off the hook and strokes his ego. It was the dumbest thing ever, and it made her all the more unrelatable.
Now as for the monster… it’s a flea, a flea that got zapped by a potion mixture that made it seven feet tall and great at singing (and dancing… and playing guitar… and flawless choreography with Lucille……. like I said, this is for children). Soon, it becomes Lucille’s pet, and I immediately fell under the impression that the flea was going to have no character development whatsoever except for being a good guy with magical skills (and sure enough…).
Honestly, with the officer being a self-absorbed prick wanting the beautiful Lucille’s hand in marriage, and the fact that she has a soft spot for this monster she finds, AND this movie is set in France, I was getting an EXTREME Beauty and the Beast vibe. However, although there are some similarities, it’s not really a cut-and-paste of Beauty and the Beast, but the similarities are… uncanny.
It doesn’t hurt to mention that it was Raoul’s fault that the monster was even a thing in the first place (because he broke into his customer’s house and messed with his crap), and he never reaps the consequences of this.
Also, something that irritated me to no end, when Lucille put white gloves on the flea’s 3-fingered hands, suddenly, the flea magically can move all five of its fingers on each hand as if he had human hands all along.
Also, considering this movie is supposed to take place in 1910, the music sounds awfully, obnoxiously modern.
Also, they have this scene that’s an obvious rip-off of an American Idol audition, and it was extremely annoying.
Anyway, this movie is dumb and it has a shallow plot with a nonsensical villain and relatively uninteresting protagonists. This movie is certainly harmless, so if you need to turn something on for the kids and they’re finally tired of Frozen, maybe this might be somewhat enjoyable. I however found it to be fairly boring and/or obnoxious.