Tuesday 18th January 2022

The Brothers Grimm (12A)
Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

Ex-Monty Python member Terry Gilliam seems to be a man who thrives on confrontation. His not unsuccessful career behind the camera is littered with arguments with film studios and abandoned projects. As he approaches his sixty-fifth birthday, however, it seems age and experience has done nothing to ease his trouble with the moneymen.

Lena Headey: A poor man's Knightley
Lena Headey: A poor man's Knightley

Gilliam has taken on and heavily adapted the screenplay by Ehren Kruger (The Skeleton Key, Scream 3) an experienced mainstream horror writer. As well as adapting the script though, he has turned his hand to what he's best at: imagining a fairytale world and creating it on the silver screen.

The world he has created is home to Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, the Brothers Grimm, who have achieved no small degree of fame and fortune as vanquishers of the supernatural. In reality, however, their business is a con, as they travel around staging the defeat of any local mythical baddies. Predictably, they come a cropper when they happen across one legend that turns out to be a little too tangible for comfort.

Unfortunately, as soon as production began on this film, so did the problems on set. Matt Damon's fake nose was banned by the studio on day one, which only proved to be a sign of things to come and when the film was finally released, it was not the cut that Gilliam himself had put together.

The result therefore, is a very enjoyable, but startlingly mainstream film that comes as quite a shock to anyone who has seen Gilliam's previous work. The cast, which also includes Monica Bellucci (The Matrix Reloaded), Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Lena Headey (The Cave) does a fine job of portraying the characters and I was especially impressed with Damon's English accent.

However, the curious mix of dark surroundings, wry humour and scary moments would surely have made more sense in the crazed hands of Terry Gilliam. Instead the result is a bit too mainstream for my liking, giving the overall impression of a combination of Brotherhood of the Wolf, Van Helsing and Sleepy Hollow. In the absence of a director's cut, however, you could do a lot worse than see this given the current crop of releases.

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Length: 118 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 4th November 2005

Top Five Rating: 70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0% (70.0%)
User Rating: 0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0% (0.0%)

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