Outnumbered but undaunted.
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As in the books, this is a magical world that includes a Lower Elements Police (LEP) force, trolls, dwarves, and goblins, all located beneath the “real” human world. Bonus: Dame Judi Dench plays a gender-swapped LEP Commander Root (the character is a cigar-chomping tough guy in the novels). Colfer himself appears as an extra in one scene and has said that the experience gave him “a new respect for actors.”
The trailer opens with a bank of security camera screens, then zooms in to reveal a voice questioning a dwarf named Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad) to tell them more about the man he works for, Artemis Fowl I. “This isn’t about the father; it’s about the son,” Mulch grins. We see the senior Fowl praising his son for growing stronger and smarter than he ever imagined, interspersed with a training montage.
When the elder Fowl disappears while on a mysterious mission, our protagonist, Artemis Fowl Jr., gets a phone call from whoever is holding his father prisoner, telling him to return a valuable artifact his father stole — or else. Butler (Nonso Anozie) reveals the father’s underground lair to Artemis, telling him that his father’s “complicated profession” included protecting “powerful secrets to keep mankind safe from the dangers of another world.”
In the battle to retrieve his father, Artemis joins forces not only with Mulch, but a LEP elven reconnaissance officer named Holly Short ( Lara McDonnell) —an alliance that suggests events in book two may be included in this adaptation. We catch glimpses of the fairy realm, followed by several action-packed scenes of Artemis and his allies facing off against an otherworldly army. “Who do you think you are?” an evil voice rasps. To which Artemis responds, “I’m the next criminal mastermind.”
I think the trailer looks promising. As for all the Artemis fans loudly trumpeting their displeasure online — well, it’s generally a good idea to see the actual film before deciding a beloved series has been “ruined,” based a single trailer. Branagh is a gifted director who has shown he can handle mythical fantasy realms ( Thor
) and knows how to create a ruthless yet vulnerable villain / antihero (cf. the enormous popularity of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki in the MCU) . He’s perfectly capable of doing the same for Artemis Fowl . Colfer has also told the Guardian , “I’ve seen about a third of it and it does look pretty close [to the books].” So how about we all just take a deep breath and wait to see what Branagh has wrought?
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