Maksim's Review of Beautiful Creatures
Predictable, slow-paced, but mildly entertaining, Beautiful Creatures is another post-Twilight attempt to set the foundations of a new teen-targeting franchise based on an young-adult novel. Despite the lack of originality or electrifying leading actors, this movie benefits from an intriguing Tim Burton-like visual style and solid supporting cast.
The newest "unnatural" teenage romance is set somewhere in the middle of rural and extremely Christian America, and involves the high-school graduate Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) and the young witch Lena (Alice Englert). With a slow introduction to a very conservative town society which is the world of Ethan and the newcomer Lena, Beautiful Creatures'story is nothing but perfectly predictable; this is partially compensated by the totally comic depiction of the ultra-conservative Christian society living in Ethan's small town. Slowly, as the Ethan-Lena romance starts to develop, the mystery surrounding Lena is revealed and the movie actually gets to a better second part.
Surprisingly to many, this is not due to the chemistry or performances of the leading actors. As a matter of fact Alden Ehrenreich's "screaming" and mushy performance is probably the most annoying part of the whole movie. Even with the passably sweet presence of Alice Englert, the chemistry between both actors is far from being inspiring. It is probably better than the Twilight-one, but still not good enough to save the movie. The second reason for the better second part is the splendid performance of Hollywood heavyweights such as Emma Thompson, Viola Davis and especially Jeremy Irons. They succeed to evoke a lively interest in the mysterious world of witches (bad witches, good witches, etc.etc.etc.), but sadly director Richard LaGravanese does not delve deeper in their world.
In conclusion, Beautiful Creatures is a semi-successful attempt (financially, it is nothing but a failure) to deliver a teenage romance. It is mildly entertaining and it would definitely please young teenagers. The rest of the audience would probably forget it days after seeing it.