REVIEW: ‘The Grinch’ finally feels fresh

This new iteration of the classic Dr. Seuss tale is something I’ve been looking forward to all year. Despite being a little disappointed that they had Benedict Cumberbatch use his American accent to voice the titular Grinch. I was ready to walk out of the theater saying #NotMyGrinch, but 2018’s The Grinch felt like a breath of fresh air into this story that almost everyone already knows. 

As usual, The Grinch follows the titular character, now voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, and his dog, Max, as they attempt to steal Christmas from all of the Whos down in Whoville. 

While the film mostly sticks to the same script as the classic 30-minute special (with extra padding of course), this tale adds new details and dynamics especially surrounding Cindy Lou Who. She’s given friends and more character development as we see how truly selfless and pure she is, even in the face of the Grinch’s animosity. 

I can really appreciate the animation and editing here. The movie shifts very well from the current time to its flashback sequences without a single misstep. It uses those perfectly placed sequences to tug on your heartstrings at just the right time each time they’re used.

In spite of The Grinch’s bad attitude, this movie really gets you to empathize with him. From sequences involving his upbringing as a lonely orphan to scenes that depict him interacting with new friends, his character seems to open up more to sympathy than either the original cartoon or the Jim Carrey-version does. 

All in all, The Grinch does a good job at what it set out to achieve. It’s supposed to be a non-stop kids’ comedy that can be enjoyed by little kids who are learning the story for the first time and by parents who have grown up with the story all their lives. 

I’ve seen plenty of reviews that insist that the film fell flat, but as we approach the Christmas season, I think The Grinch is the perfect dose of comedy and kindness that bring us all together.