With a price tag of $175 million, Zemeckis might have even been able to pinch some pennies by abandoning the mo-cap and filming A Christmas Carol in live action. Hmm, I sound a little like Scrooge. Bah humbug!
Bob Hoskins looks just right as kind old Mr. Fezziwig, but that may be more of a testament to the actor's physiognomy than to the motion-capture process, which makes most of the film's cast look like they just sauntered out of Madame Tussauds.
The good news about A Christmas Carol, then, is that Dickens' story -- the pure power of it, the grace and gentleness, the sensibility and sentiment of it -- cannot be drowned or destroyed no matter how many technicians and dollars are thrown at it.
As for this 'performance capture,' rife with characters sporting the annoying wandering eye, it might be time for an intervention, ghostly or not. You're a filmmaker, Mr. Z, not a puppeteer. Enough is enough.
A Christmas Carol is, in its essence, a product reel, a showy, exuberant demonstration of the glories of motion capture, computer animation and 3D technology. On that level, it's a wow. On any emotional level, it's as cold as Marley's Ghost.
Scrooge's ultimate transformation to kindness and charity comes too late and is given little screen time. Carrey never gets a chance to be the funny comedian that has endeared him to his legion of fans.
Boasts dazzling CGI effects and important moral lessons, but it suffers from excessive style over substance while lacking the genuine, unadulturated warmth, emotional resonance and soul of the Dickens classic.