Labyrinth (1986)


Labyrinth Review

Labyrinth is a 1986 musical fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. The movie received a mixed reception upon its release, but it now has a cult following.

Teen girl Sarah’s infant brother has been kidnapped by a goblin and she has to go into a huge maze in order to find him. I really liked this plot as I found it riveting for the most time. Yes, it doesn’t have a bigger message or statement behind it and it isn’t as impactful or as emotional as ‘The NeverEnding Story‘, but it is still a charming and really fun flick filled with boundless imagination.

The characters are really good and most of them are quite memorable. Sarah is a weak protagonist that isn’t particularly fleshed out, but Jareth the Goblin King is naturally such an unforgettable and intriguing character. Ludo is a lovable creature and Sir Didymus is really funny. But it is of course Hoggle the dwarf who is the standout here with such a likable personality and the friendship between him and Sarah is really sweet.

The acting is stupendous as well. David Bowie gives such a good performance, especially good for a singer and his persona created here really stands out. Now, Jennifer Connelly was okay, but at times quite weak and although she was extremely young here, I still can’t believe how much she progressed over the years in terms of her acting talent. And all of the creatures are really well voiced with Brian Henson being the highlight in the role of Hoggle.

Labyrinth is a technically arresting fantasy flick. The imagery created here is absolutely gorgeous to behold. The puppetry is really fantastic and all of the creatures are wonderfully created and acted. Their character design is splendid. The maze itself is such a visual feast filled with excellent set designs and interesting properties. The world-building is particularly strong in this movie.

Now the music is lacking. First, there isn’t much of it here. Also, when it happens, it isn’t particularly memorable. The songs are catchy, but not that appealing. The pacing is also really problematic as you have some incredibly drawn out sequences, especially some singing scenes that seem more like detours than adding anything new to the table. That was the biggest problem this movie never overcame. Also, the whole second half of the film is quite inferior to the previous half and the running time is slightly overblown in this one. And another problem is the sound mixing which is troublesome and in some scenes quite poor.

The directing is solid, the acting is good and the visuals are great with make-up and costumes being terrific. The dialogue is also solid and I really liked Labyrinth‘s humor which is very well done. There are a couple of really funny moments to witness here, filled with such fun and effervescent humor. The movie is very flawed, but it is such a charming and above all fun and authentic experience that the flaws should be overlooked. It has this whole new world wonderfully created and depicted and it is filled with lovable creatures and such a weird, but fun story. There was too much action near the end and those parts aren’t as good plus the detours are quite present from time to time, but it wrapped up really well with a memorable ending. Also, there are many sequences here that are not only visually phenomenal, but also so imaginative, authentic and even artistic. The imagery is just unforgettable and the whole movie is a bit underappreciated in my honest opinion as it has a lot to offer and it also has a big heart.

Labyrinth is far from a great film owing to some evident pacing issues, forgettable songs and inferior second half, but it is still such a charming and really fun movie filled with lovable characters, terrific world-building, charming and entertaining story, quite good humor and simply fantastic, unforgettable imagery.

My Rating – 4


      Interior & Exterior Stills from Labyrinth

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Posted in 1980s, 1986, Adventure, Fantasy, MOVIE REVIEWS, Musical and tagged , , , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Yes I liked the movie too and the songs but I think it’s a pitty there wasn’t a second !! Maybe Bowie gives us that now, in a black star song or clib!!

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