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Everything you want! Classic
A rousing adventure from the creator of Star Wars, Mr. George Lucas. Ron Howard was a great choice to direct this film as he has the midas touch with ensemble casts. Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis have wonderful chemistry together, you buy into their friendship instantly. Jean Marsh's Queen Bavmorda is a fantastic villain, on par with Ian McDiarmid's Emperor Palpatine. I also liked the pint-size brownie characters, Rool and Franjean. Very appealing comic relief. Who cares if this copies the formula of Star Wars, it's a good retread. You get plenty of action, loads of heart, and characters you care about.
I was discussing the movie on another website, and came to see what the tomatometer had to say, and was shocked that it's only 50% with critics.
I don't understand what the complaint is about the pace - the movie is easy to sit through and feels to me like it needs another chapter - but take this with a grain of salt, because I'm the guy who'll sit through as many hours as you'll give me of Lord of the Rings or Avengers: Endgame.
I also don't understand why a generic story is a problem when there is good writing, effects, acting, directing, and production. I mean, every story has been told, essentially, and HOW the stories are told becomes so much more important. Sure, "reluctant person from smaller race saves the world" is old hat, but it hadn't been brought to film outside the Hobbit and LOTR cartoons up until then.
Ah, who knows. I love the movie. The scene where Mad Martigan finally gets a sword, kicks some ass, flips the sword around fancy style and falls on his ass - while still retaining control of the sword - is the movie in a nutshell to me.
A charming fantasy film with heart!
Ron Howard's Willow (1988) is a brave and delightful fantasy film of remarkable craftsmanship with a few flaws here and there. Howard's direction is beautiful with gorgeous natural scenery that makes you instantly believe you are witnessing a fantasy world with the vast English, Welsh, and New Zealand backdrop. Peter Jackson must have drawn inspiration from Howard's intimate direction and sweeping grandeur for The Lord of the Rings.
George Lucas's story is essentially a ripoff of The Lord of the Rings and The Dark Crystal, but with a few neat narrative twists. The writing is so sincere and tender, always grounded in character interactions, that you cannot help but be charmed by Willow's decency. It's really a story about finding confidence within yourself and doing the right thing.
James Horner's score is a beautiful fantasy symphony of delightful whimsy and epic adventure. I can tell that Howard Shore heard James Horner's compositions for Willow before he composed The Lord of the Rings.
Warwick Davis is the excellent unlikely hero Willow Ufgood. His genuinely emotional reactions to the world around are so realistic that you are constantly rooting for Davis. Davis proves his dramatic skill as an actor in that he is Willow's heart and soul.
Val Kilmer is hilarious and righteous as the energetic swordsman and heartthrob Madmartigan.
Joanne Whalley is the stunning Sorsha with her quick witted delivery and fierce stature as the daughter of the antagonist. Whalley is mesmerizing in Willow and enchanting as the strong heroine along with the likable love interest to Kilmer.
Jean Marsh is great as the evil Queen Bavmorda. She is underutilized until the end, but she gives heinous spell casting and evil cackling a zealous madness.
Now, after all the good and charm of Willow's wondrous cast and brilliant practical effects, it does feature some terrible choices. Namely, the two miniature friends that accompany Willow are so annoying and the special effects CGI looks terrible. The practical effects are still magical, but the spliced in characters look so fake. The annoying voices of the two friends are just awful and they ruin each scene they are in. Unfortunately, they are in far too many scenes. Some of the action choreography, while thrilling, is oddly awkward and aged poorly. The adventure and interactions are the highlight of Willow. The CGI people and goofy green screen moments are terrible and weigh Willow down unnecessarily.
Ron Howard's Willow is a lovely little movie that will surely entertain anyone. Willow just needed to edit out some unnecessary extra characters. Howard's direction keeps you engaged and Warwick Davis is just captivating and endearing as the hero.
Great movie for itï¿ 1/2(TM)s time! Even now itï¿ 1/2(TM)s still enjoyable to watch.
I've always loved this movie. I recently watched it on Google Play Movies, and I was taken back to being 8 years old seeing it for the first time. Willow is one of my favorite fantasy films, and I recommend it to everyone.
I loved this movie as a kid, then went on to make fun of it for the rest of the years that followed. That's unfair, as this is a solid fantasy film. Light, fun, engaging, with a good sense of adventure, even if it kind of feels like Lord of the Rings light. The effects are crazy impressive, especially for an 80s film.
A bright light among a shadowy path, guiding all hope to a victorious happiness.
Beautiful film and well paced. Special effects are very impressive for late 1980s.
It's been one of my favorite movies. I saw it when it was released in theaters and a hundred times since! Now it's available for streaming!