Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Premise: Matt Damon and Heath Ledger play The Brothers Grimm, traveling con artists posing as ghost busters by exploiting local folk myths. The two find themselves in trouble when they are caught between a genuine ghost story and French authorities.
What Works: The film looks really good. The effects are well executed and the sets have some great production values. The Brothers Grimm is also well cast and has some good performances. The stand out role is Peter Stormare as an officer in the French army. Stormare is able to show he has some comedic abilities and it would be fun to see him do more.
What Doesn’t: This story is a mess. The Brothers Grimm shows all of Gilliam’s bad inclinations and few of his good ones. It starts out as a possible retelling of the Grimm stories and could have had the same qualities of Monty Python and the Holy Grail but the film takes itself too seriously. Like Brazil the film plunges the audience into a strange environment with eccentric characters, but it jerks the audience around from place to place and does not create anything really interesting there. The humor is funny, but it is delivered in doses that are too far between.
Bottom Line: Ultimately The Brothers Grimm is unsuccessful because it tries to do too much and straddles too many ideas at once. Hard core Gilliam fans may want to check it out but be warned that this is not Monty Python.
Episode: #66 (September 4, 2005)