There’s one thing which this review is not going to make, I can assure you of that – which is that I don’t like this movie…. AT ALL!
When I think of 80s fantasy I think of cheesy effects, terrible hair, bad acting and awful story lines, and whilst the Labyrinth is not the worst of these, it is right up with the rest of them! I have seen this film a couple of times with my wife who loves it (for some reason), however I’ve never warmed to it, even as a child, so it’s not even like I have some kind of emotional or nostalgic affinity with it. For me it really is nothing more than a bad film I’ve had to endure more than once!
The acting for a start’s really not great, although of course because he is a natural showman, and there’s a flamboyance which he shared with Jareth, the performance by David Bowie was one of the only redeeming factors of this film.
Don’t get me wrong, for their time the special effects were great and there’s no denying that Jim Henson is one of the god fathers of puppetry and again they were made and controlled with amazing proficiency, stealing the show from the human actors.
But just because it was good then, that doesn’t mean I have to think its good today. We live in an age where we don’t need puppets and where people can apply the kinds of special effects which they achieved using filters on a phone! That might be exaggerating a bit, but not that much! You always hear people say that this is a cult classic. That’s not necessarily a quality badge! What do so many cult classic things have in common? What common factor in fact often makes them cult classics? Especially in the case of tv shows it’s the fact that they got cancelled!
Take fire fly for example which is a cult classic or blood drive which is on its way to becoming one… after they got cancelled. Things don’t get cancelled because they’re awesome…. No they get cancelled because they’re crap and no one wants to watch them, until that is, they’re no longer able to watch them. Labyrinth is just like that…. It’s just across the board a bit crap.
Even down to the story line…. It’s a bit creepy no?
Not only is Jareth an absolute weirdo child abductor – stranger danger of the highest degree! But also he’s after Sarah, who is just a young teenager, so he’s a potential sex pest too!
As I said, this review won’t win me any friends, but if you love the poor acting & effects of 80s fantasy and crave puppets which really do continue to look like puppets, then dive right in to this snooze fest of drug fueled story telling and see where the labyrinth takes you!