How the Grinch Ran Grandma Over With a Reindeer

How the Grinch Ran Grandma Over With a Reindeer takes place between 15 and 20 years after the Grinch cut the roast beast. Whoville has become a poverty stricken wasteland, teeming with crime. Having retired to his cave, the Grinch can do nothing but watch as the Christmas land that once enchanted him crumbles, and goes insane with bitterness.

If that last paragraph left an odd taste in your mouth, keep in mind that this Grinch has The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan at the helm. Like Knight, this new film has Nolan attempting to stamp his name upon another classic. Just replace “comics” with “classic children’s story” and you’re ready to roll.

This is another ambitious Christopher Nolan film with all the extraordinary special effects, catastrophe, and edginess of his recent releases. However, rather than casting A-list actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio or the late Heath Ledger as the leading man, Jim Carrey reprises his role as the Grinch.

Fans, of course, had their doubts about Ace Ventura starring in a Nolan film. Similarly, during the early hype that surrounded Knight, fans were worried about “pretty-boy” Ledger starring as the Joker. For a second time, fans will be met with a pleasant surprise. Carrey plays the Grinch like a man with nothing to lose, as opposed to a fuzzy, cantankerous grump, and the results are haunting.

In the scene from which the movie takes its name, the Grinch is seen strolling down a dark ally, singing the song “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” to himself. Here, Cindy Lou Who (Michelle Williams), who is now a grown woman, has a surprise reunion with the Grinch.

He asks her to follow him through the horrors of a crime-devastated Whoville, in a ploy to convince Cindy that “there is no roast beast”. Being the strong Who woman she is, Cindy breaks from his influence, and is rescued from the mountaintops by Johnny Woo Who (Michael Caine), her beloved grandfather.

From there on, the movie tells the story of the Grinch devising more terrifying schemes to tear apart Whoville (taught by his last attempt that it takes more than stealing material items to decimate a town), and how the remaining Whos (including Cindy) that still possess Christmas cheer bring peace to Whoville before it’s too late.

Yet, even with all it has going for it, nothing works. All of it seems to be trying too hard, and the Nolan formula has run thin. The audience member needs to ask him or herself whether it is worth to pay for great acting and spectacular special effects, or for a movie that feels confident enough in itself that it doesn’t need to have everything.

By Kristi Schoenhaar

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