Much Ado About Nothing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Much Ado About Nothing Reviews

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½ September 3, 2016
Much Ado is one of the handful of Shakespeare plays I'm reasonably familiar with (having studied it at school) and one of the few I actually enjoy. I've seen several productions, including the Branagh film, and this version stands up well. It's great fun, both in itself and because I'm a Whedon fan and enjoyed watching this cast, composed primarily of his known associates, throw banter at each other. Acker and Denisof are fantastic, though perhaps slightly less sharp than Thompson and Branagh. Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond and Sean Maher are all great too. Dogberry and Verges are two of my favourite Shakespeare characters (as I said, from the relatively few plays I know), and Nathan Fillion and Tom Lenk are hilarious in the roles. Beautiful black and white photography, cocktail parties and smooth-jazz hey-nonny-nonnies complete an interesting, fun adaptation that is - not to be too on-the-nose about it - really quite something.
August 28, 2016
Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof interpretation of Shakespeare's words made this movie wonderful. I had read the play twice in preparation for seeing the movie, but it didn't click until I saw their performances. The other actors did great jobs, too.
½ August 19, 2016
Whedon's successful contemporary adaptation is as interesting as it is engaging. The black-and-white filming extenuates the visual light, dark and shadows, and adds a polish to the film.
July 14, 2016
Joss Whedon teams up with some actors and actresses he'd worked with in Buffy, Angel, and Dollhouse, such as Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof (both from Angel). I hope it comes out in cinemas in NZ.
July 1, 2016
Interesting Joss Whedon directed Shakespeare film.
½ May 27, 2016
Much Ado About Nothing - 2013
3 out of 4 stars

Script - William Shakespeare
Director - Joss Whedon
Benedick - Alexis Denisof
Beatrice - Amy Acker
Dogberry - Nathan Fillion
Leonato - Clark Gregg
Claudio - Fran Kranz
Hero - Jillian Morgese
Don Pedro - Reed Diamond
Don John - Sean Maher
Conrade - Riki Lindolme
Margaret - Ashley Johnson

In Much Ado About Nothing, Joss Whedon, in a whirlwind filming, pulled in his friends to create a fun, quirky, black and white movie. In fact, this film adapted the fun aspects of Shakespeare's play to Whedon's unique and imaginative directing. Secondary characters really stood out in ways that should not be overlooked.

For instance, Sean Maher (Serenity) was cast as Don John. Every character Maher has portrayed previously has been a good character and it was a shock to see him playing the evil bastard prince. An interesting shift from his more innocent role as Dr. Simon in Serenity who was the caretaker and guardian of his sister. His portrayal of Don John was cold and calculating. He smirked derisively at the pathetic "good masters" and wheedled them into believing the worst of Hero.

A unique twist that Whedon put into the film was changing Conrade from male to female. This made it possible for Don John to be Conrade's (Riki Lindolme) lover without raising eyebrows. An interesting thought is that Conrade being a male would have been more appropriate as Don John's lover since Maher is gay. Conrade, normally a male character, was played as a sex object for Don John and maybe even Borachio (Spencer Treat Clark). She was almost comfortable with Borachio walking in on the foreplay between Don John and herself. She was happy to hand her pot over to Borachio while he was telling her how he had convinced Don Pedro and Claudio that he was having sex with Hero, when in reality he was swiving Margaret.

Though not a character, an important aspect of the movie was the partying. Every scene was filled with people drinking one thing or another. Tables and counters were liberally filled with wine bottles, wine glasses, liquor bottles, and shot glasses. It was hard to decide what time of day it was due to the copious drinking. The only characters that aren't seen drinking or smoking pot are the constables.

Finally, Dogberry (played by Nathan Fillion), the head local constable, obviously wants to sound important but can't seem to say the right words - ever. In fact, he often says the exact opposite of what he is trying to convey. It is funny and tragic simultaneously. In Whedon's version, the constabulary look like they are either FBI or CIA, but act like Keystone cops. Fillon, typically an off beat, fun character actor, plays Dogberry with serious conviction and the more serious he is, the more hilarious his delivery is.

There is a lot to enjoy about this movie and lots to look for. Especially Dogberry's "I am an ass!"
½ May 26, 2016
This is an odd movie for me to recommend, because I feel like to get the most enjoyment out of it, you have to be of 3 minds: a fan of romantic comedies, someone who doesn't mind Shakespearian dialogue, and a Joss Whedon follower. If you are someone who fits that criteria, I think you'll be highly entertained.

This is a a very strict adaptation of the Shakespeare play, so one can see why it's one of his most popular. The characters are charming and the situations that arise between them are both endearing and funny. Whedon effortlessly applies it to a modern setting. The black and white look (while done partly for budget reasons) seems appropriate in giving it more of a classic atmosphere. The cast is littered with alumni from Joss Whedon shows and they are able to give life to the characters. Angel fans especially should be extremely happy with the main pairing in this play.
May 21, 2016
Really not my type of movie. I knew it was based on Shakespeare play but I was not expecting it to be word for word. Couldn't watch it.
April 15, 2016
Ahhhhhhhhh Joss Whedon Shakespeare movie!!!
½ March 6, 2016
Ugh... Give me a fuckin' break!!! I feel like punching anyone who likes this film right in the face.
½ February 14, 2016
Solid meat and potatoes adaptation which misses a lot of the sauciness but is clear, bright and heartfelt.
½ February 7, 2016
I lost the will to live after missing half the dialogue in the opening scenes due to actors speaking too fast or mumbling, and was bored in the later scenes where I could understand them. Only when Claudio rejects Hero did I get at all interested, and I lost interest again during the slapstick scenes with the constables. Overall a very damp squib indeed for me, and the context-free mafia setting seemed very unimaginative.
½ December 12, 2015
While undoubtedly probably a great adaption of the play, I have no knowledge of the story, the script is very dense and the black and white atmosphere makes a bland Shakespeare film even harder to stay interested in. I only watched about 20 minutes before I got bored.
September 25, 2015
I want to see this so, so bad! Just watching the trailer makes me happy. Plus it's Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion AND Shakespeare.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2015
Great cast of characters. Not as exciting as when Baz did Shakespeare. Hats off to Joss Whedon for keeping it classical while being very comedic.
½ September 3, 2015
Joss + Shakespeare = 2 of my favourite things. How could I not love it? So simple and clean - set in the present, shot entirely on one property (Joss' house!) in B&W. Strong images, strong performances by the usual (Whedonverse) suspects.
August 17, 2015
Really enjoyed this Joss Whedon Shakespeare adaptation, even if it is like their are speaking a different language at times!
July 8, 2015
I thought it was a wonderful look at the play. Well done!
June 7, 2015
One Of My Friends Saw 2012's The Avengers At The McHenry Downtown Theater.
½ June 1, 2015
Delightfully charming.
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