Whilst I’m definitely not the person to be watching young adult supernatural movies, I seemed to have one of those self-torturing moods that resulted in me literally wasting my time on teen romance. Beautiful Creatures, in a long run, is indeed a waste of time because it doesn’t really offer anything new and refreshing and since I have read the novel it’s based on, I’m especially disappointed how this one turned out.
To be fair, Beautiful Creatures was almost destined to be raw (which I remind you is not the lowest rating) – the book was messy and was dragging out its anti-climatic plot what seemed to be forever. Though the movie took the liberty to change things as well as take out the unnecessary (which is obvious), it still remained a mess and quite frankly, boring! But hands down the biggest mistake was its running time: two hours is just way too much for a movie as uneventful as Beautiful Creatures but I can’t really say that an hour and thirty minutes would have made it any better.
Beautiful Creatures starts with Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) narrating to set the mood and then I believe he does the voice over thing once more in the end. Those young adult movies really love their narrating but I’m not a fan (unless it’s justified in a way). Anyway, in a place where almost nothing ever happens, something happens when the new girl Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) appears. From the very start, she is not liked because her uncle, Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons) is of course the town’s creepy guy. Things happen, love takes place and problems surface as Lena reveals that she’s a caster, which is just a fancy way of saying witch, and she’ll be claimed on her 16th birthday as dark or light. Now, it sounds like it could be a thrilling adventure for the two young lovers with magic and stuff, but nothing really happens. I mean, we have these crazy bible kids as well as shattering windows, mysterious relatives and dungeon-libraries, but there’s not much going on really. You would think that at least something exciting happens in those two hours but honestly, it’s dull. On a positive note, there were a few moments of humor and great come-backs but it just wasn’t enough.
The only positive aspect to Beautiful Creatures, and the reason I rated it a bit higher than I wanted, was the strong and much more experienced supporting cast. Imagine Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis and Emma Thompson together outshining the young lovers, well, with Beautiful Creatures you don’t have to imagine, it just naturally happens. Surprising is the fact that these three even took on this movie but I’m not gonna pass judgment because I couldn’t have survived without Irons and Thompson. Davis didn’t really get good screen time but hey, at least they emerged two characters in order to give her more to do. Emmy Rossum was also present and I loved her! She was the only character who at least looked and acted interesting with the ability to captivate me just enough to care just a little bit for Beautiful Creatures. In terms of character development, I think Rossum’s caster was the best in the movie and the leading girl really couldn’t measure up to her level. Then again, I’m a fan of Rossum on Shameless US so I might not be objective with this – but I don’t care.
In the end though, Beautiful Creatures does nothing with its strong supporting cast because it focuses on the lack of chemistry Ehrenreich and Englert have on the screen. Sure, they get their moments but with a story that is so messy and a plot that eventually doesn’t even give them a celebratory hug/make-out session, what can you really do? At least the surroundings and cinematography looks alright, though it could have been much better considering the things the movie left out from the book. Honestly, everything could have been better with Beautiful Creatures… So finally, as I’ve spent days reading the book and two hours watching the movie, I’m astonished that I’ve now also spent couple of hours writing this review – the book and the movie are both bad but it’s even worse that I have the completed knowledge of its bad qualities from page to screen. I should really stop torturing myself.