It means no worries for the rest of your days? The reviews have finally landed for the 2019 'live-action' remake of the 1994 animated classic The Lion King.
The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau brings us this CGI-heavy take on Simba (Donald Glover), the future heir to Pride Rock who finds his life with father Mufasa (returning voice actor James Earl Jones) changed forever due to the actions of his evil uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor). The early first reactions on social media were glowing, but now the full critical reviews have dropped and they haven't all been so kind. Here is a round-up of what critics are saying, along with that all-important Rotten Tomatoes score.
The Lion King 2019 review round-up
Chris Hunneysett utterly adored the new film, writing in his five-star review: "It's an uplifting hymn to the natural wonder of our world with an emphasis on respecting our environment, and if David Attenborough made Disney films it would look and feel like this. Everything is amped up which means the elephants' graveyard scene is scarier, the wildebeest stampede is more thrilling, the hyenas are more frightening, and the warthog and meerkat sidekicks are funnier."
Critic David Ehrlich delivered a vigorous attack of the film and Disney in his D-rated review: "Zazu worries that the circle of life has become “a meaningless line of indifference,” but “The Lion King” more closely resembles a perfect ouroboros. It’s the work of a studio that’s gobbled up the rest of the film industry and is still hungry for more. “The Lion King” feels less like a remake than a snuff film, and a boring one at that."
Film reviewer Peter Bradshaw gave a decidedly mixed review in his 3-star verdict: "Basically, this new Lion King sticks very closely to the original version, and in that sense, it’s, of course, watchable and enjoyable. But I missed the simplicity and vividness of the original hand-drawn images. The circle of commercial life has given birth to this all-but-indistinguishable digi clone descendant. I don’t quite feel like bowing, but respect has to be paid to a handsomely made piece of entertainment."
The Hollywood Reporter
Critic Todd McCarthy was left unimpressed with the film playing it too safe in his review: "But by and large, very few remakes, other than Gus Van Sant's shot-by-shot reproduction of Psycho, have adhered as closely to their original versions as this one does. Everything here is so safe and tame and carefully calculated as to seem predigested. There's nary a surprise in the whole two hours."
In her positive four-star write-up, film critic Clarisse Loughrey wrote: "As much as this new version can never hold a candle to its predecessor, there’s never a sense that it’s trying to. If anything, The Lion King
uses nostalgia as a springboard for experimentation, finding new ways to tell old stories, while reminding us what makes those stories feel truly timeless in the first place."
Rotten Tomatoes score
The film hasn't done too well across the board as review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has shown that only 58% of reviews have deemed the film to be 'Fresh', meaning that it is just about deemed as 'Rotten'.
The consensus states: "While it can take pride in its visual achievements, The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved--though for some fans that may just be enough."
Looks pretty divided - guess you'll have to make your own mind up! The Lion King releases on July 19, 2019.Read More