Willow - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Willow Reviews

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April 10, 2017
Tragically underappreciated, this sword and sorcery tale is a must-see. Warwick Davis as Willow is great to watch and he really moves the narrative along. While the film does have a bit of a weak plot-thread, but makes this film sore is its whimsical charm, even in the dark moments. The film is viewed most strongly when seen as the tale of a young man who learns about himself through the course of the story, and the courage he doesn't know he has until confronted with insurmountable odds.
½ March 29, 2017
While not a spectacular and original story, I think critics are a bit too hard on the movie, and this isn't coming from someone who likes the film because of nostalgia. The movie is meant to be a simple, yet grand adventure, and it delivers on that front.
February 24, 2017
The story is great, it had everything action adventure, it was funny and has room for a second movie!
January 26, 2017
"Willow"?...uhm...oh yeah, now I remember (sort of).
Just like every other cliché-driven fantasy film that was being pumped out during the 1980s, "Willow" attempts to follow down the beaten path, but suffers from too many missteps where the characters are uninteresting and annoying, the world looks bland and cheap, and the plot is derivative and lacks imagination. In short, this film feels like a dirty cash-in.
November 30, 2016
Yeah, it's kinda like the Star Wars version of the hobbit. Maybe.
November 28, 2016
I saw this film in the movie theater when I was about ten years old. It wasn't a perfect movie but it has an undeniable charm and a good story. This is my favorite role of Val Kilmer, followed by Doc Holladay (of course) and Joanne Whalley was smoking hot. I am sure a lot of my appreciation of this film is from loving it as a child and I am not sure what I would think of it if I had not seen it until I was an adult. However I love the film.
½ November 25, 2016
One of the most under-rated movies of all time. I have idea what critics expected the film to be. It's great fun with a fabulous musical score from late great composer James Horner.
November 7, 2016
I forgot how much I love this movie! It's a little corny at times but it was 1988 and it really is well written.
November 6, 2016
A little gem I did not know about and in some ways hard to believe it was a box office disappointment. But the childlike fantasy film for families probably couldn't find its audience but it still made $57 million which isn't bad. 1988 was the year of Rain Man and Roger Rabbit so I can see this one fading into nostalgic memory especially with the very poor critical response. I enjoyed this movie though. Unique heroes, unique villains, fun and swordplay along with great set pieces and visual effects add to a heartwarming story of those underestimated accomplishing amazing things. Sort of following Lord of the Rings thematically. Sure some of it is hokey or repetitive, but it has all of the ingredients for an adventure. Some things are a stretch but I think Willow's uncompromising loyalty and heroism plus his drive to return to his family truly carries this film very well. Not a waste of time.
October 19, 2016
It was a really nice, really magical and really entertaining live-action family fantasy adventure. It had really great cinematography, really exceptional cast, really outstanding special effects, really beautiful music, really exciting adventure, really intense action, really fantastic costumes, really well done makeup and a really nice story. I never seen this movie before. In my opinion, It's one of the best fantasy movies I've ever seen in my whole life. I really recommend this movie to fantasy fans of all ages.
September 27, 2016
Good fantasy movie. Well acted. Great film.
½ September 12, 2016
This movie is still fun to occasionally watch if you have a craving for 89's Fantasy. It does have a few pacing issues and overly silly moments, but overall I still think it is better than the critics say it is.
September 12, 2016
A prophecy states that a female child with a special birthmark will herald the downfall of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). Bavmorda imprisons all pregnant women in her realm to prevent fulfilment of the prophecy. When the prophesied child is born, the mother begs the midwife to take her to safety. The midwife reluctantly accepts and leaves Nockmaar castle unnoticed. The mother is executed and the midwife is eventually found. Knowing she cannot escape, she sets the baby on a makeshift raft of grass and sends her down the river hoping for fate to run its course. The midwife is then killed by Nockmaar hounds. Bavmorda sends her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and General Kael to find the baby. The baby drifts downriver to a Nelwyn village. She comes into the care of Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), a kind farmer and conjurer who hopes to become a sorcerer; his wife Kiaya and his children fall in love with the baby immediately, and Willow too soon grows to love her as one of his own. During a town festival the village is attacked by a Nockmaar hound which is quickly killed by the village warriors. The High Aldwin, the village sorcerer, learns about the baby and selects Willow, due to his devotion to the child, to accompany a party of volunteers returning the baby to the Daikini (human) people. At a crossroads, they find a human warrior named Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) trapped in a crow's cage. The rest of the party want to give the baby to Madmartigan and go home immediately, but Willow and his friend Meegosh refuse, so the others leave. After spending the night at the crossroads, and meeting an army led by Airk Thaughbaer, an old friend of Madmartigan's, marching against Bavmorda, Willow reluctantly decides to free Madmartigan so that he can take care of the baby for them. Later on, the baby is stolen by a group of brownies. While chasing them, Willow and Meegosh are trapped, but rescued by Cherlindrea, a Fairy Queen, who identifies the baby as Elora Danan, the future princess of Tir Asleen and Bavmorda's bane, and assigns Willow the task of helping the baby fulfil her destiny...

Janet Maslin from The New York Times praised Lucas' storytelling, but was critical of Ron Howard's direction. "Howard appears to have had his hands full in simply harnessing the special effects," Maslin said. Desson Thomson writing in The Washington Post, explained "Rob Reiner's similar fairytale adventure The Princess Bride (which the cinematographer Adrian Biddle also shot) managed to evoke volumes more without razzle-dazzle. It's a sad thing to be faulting Lucas, maker of the Star Wars trilogy and Raiders of the Lost Ark, for forgetting the tricks of entertainment." Mike Clark in USA Today wrote that "the rainstorm wrap-up, in which Good edges Evil is like Led Zeppelin Meets The Wild Bunch. The film is probably too much for young children and possibly too much of the same for cynics. But any 6-13-year-old who sees this may be bitten by the "movie bug" for life." I haven´t seen "Willow" for years and decided it was time to re-watch it. It´s quite obvious that "Willow" is modeled on Tolkien´s "Lord of the Rings" trilogy as there´s many similar touching points in the storyline. It most likely appeals to 10-13 year olds and back in 1988 I reckon this fantasty adventure got its audience for sure. This being a Ron Howard movie, we get something conventional and unsurprising. I personally think that Howard has created too many long scenes that really creates a stretch in the story instead of creating dynamics. The films action set pieces are generally solid, while the special effects are not so solid. The special effects is a big minus in the film in my point of view. Then again in 1988 I did most likely have a different opinion. Unfortunately, director Ron Howard and executive producer George Lucas also seems to have put too much focus on the visual effects and practical issues while the direction and character development suffers from less focus throughout the movie. Most actors give as well an uneven and inconsistent performance. It was however nice to re-see Val Kilmer in his heyday and the same for the oh so lovely Joanne Whalley. "Willow" has its entertaining moments, but there´s too much that is unsatisfying for yours truly to feel that this is still special in 2016.
½ September 12, 2016
Willow was a movie that felt like a bad remake of the Lord of The Rings. The plot was agonizingly slow, and featured very shallow characters. It basically had the feel of a middle school production gone wrong
½ September 8, 2016
I found this movie's plot to be unbearably slow paced. That, coupled with the bad acting resulted in a waste of over an hour of my time.
September 3, 2016
A childhood favourite which still holds up.
June 29, 2016
A poor film, horribly paced
June 19, 2016
Epic battle between good and evil forces with the survival of a baby found by a brave elf determining the outcome. Billing as "the biggest and most spectacular epic-adventure to ever explode across the screen" was an overstatement but, overall, a decent effort.
½ April 2, 2016
Still holds up. It might be nostalgia but I still love this movie. I have to say the special effects could be better. I would love to see a contemporary version with special effects. Though for the time it is pretty amazing what they accomplished.
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