The recent Disney remakes are rather hit and miss. For every “Jungle Book”, you’d get an “Alice in Wonderland” or a “Maleficent”. This “Beauty and the Beast” remake was anticipated since it was based on the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. The big question is how does this movie hold up to the original?
The strongest point of the new “Beauty and the Beast” remake are the visuals and its art direction. There was a lot of effort in trying to recreate the look of the original. The ensemble cast was fine overall. Kevin Kline is the main standout from the cast. He brought a certain warmth to his character. Luke Evans and Josh Gad were fantastic as Gaston and LeFou respectively. Emma Watson’s performance as Belle on the other hand was wooden and stiff as was her singing.
This film is pretty much the same film as the original. Sure, they try to add some scenes to give it a longer running time but it’s all in vain. For example, they hinted at the Beast’s strained relationship with his father but it goes nowhere. This is ironic considering that the Beast is the most developed character in the movie. The film adds four new songs to the soundtrack in addition to the original songs. While the songs were fine, they were forgettable.
While “Beauty and the Beast” isn’t a bad film per se, it’s not a good film either. It’s a shame because this movie had potential. It’s practically a shot-for-shot remake.