In yet another unnecessary remake of a perfectly serviceable film (1990, by Nicolas Roeg, starring Anjelica Huston), a young lad does battle with a coven of witches he has stumbled upon, even after being turned into a mouse. 

It’s not a bad film, exactly. Robert Zemeckis is the director, Roald Dahl wrote the source children’s book, Guillermo del Toro shares script credits, the comically over-the-top cast includes Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer and Stanley Tucci, and Chris Rock voices the narrating mouse. The SFX are top-notch (natch — Zemeckis of course made Back to the Future) and the production values are flawless. 

It’s just that with a lineup with this much firepower, you expect something more than “not bad.” Further, I’m not sure the filmmakers thought through their target audience; it’s too scary for little kids and too tedious for adults. (106 min)


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