Movie Review - The Greatest Showman

MegaSoulhero
The Greatest Showman is a musical film and the second musical to come out this year. And it just so happens to be written by Bill Condon who was the director of the other musical that came out this year. It stars Hugh Jackman who was in Logan earlier this year, Zendaya who was in Spider-Man Homecoming earlier this year, and Zac Efron who was in Baywatch earlier this year. Pretty much every single one of Zac Efron’s previous films were bad. Now let’s get started.

It tells the story of P.T. Barnum and how he created his circus in the 1800s. And this circus features a bunch of weirdos. He also recruits Zac Efron to be his partner. Zac Efron’s character has a crush on Zendaya’s character, but there’s conflict involving their relationship. How come every musical that Zac Efron is in involves his character having relationship problems? Barnum later meets an opera singer with an amazing voice in England and wants to go on tour with her. Which causes his wife to feel concerned. Which leads to consequences. And all this leads to some very excellent musical numbers. I’m not kidding. The scenes where the characters break into song and dance are amazing and put a smile on my face whenever they happen. They are expertly choreographed and the songs are brilliantly written. The songs were actually written by the same songwriters from La La Land. So it goes without saying that the songs are very great and memorable. Every single character who gets some kind of solo in the movie does it to near perfection. All of them are good singers. I should also talk about the cinematography because that’s also something that really stands out in this movie. There are some moments when they’re in one setting and then the camera turns around and it all of a sudden shows them in another setting without the use of jump cuts. I was blown away by that. These musical numbers are definitely great and very well shot. It kind of makes me wish that the rest of the movie was good.

You’d think that a musical film with great musical numbers is enough to make it good, right? Well there’s a pretty big problem. The story. First of all, why does this have to be a movie about P.T. Barnum? They made a fictional movie about a man who actually existed in real life. It has a lot of historical inaccuracies. It’s not a documentary. I know it’s not supposed to be a documentary. It’s supposed to be a fun fantasy musical film. Still, if that’s the case, why make it about P.T. Barnum? They could’ve easily come up with a made up character. It wouldn’t really change anything. Hugh Jackman did a great job regardless. Pretty much every actor was great since these are all very talented people. But the story was very weak and the writing was lazy at times. Barnum basically becomes a jerk later on just because the plot says he has to. It comes out of nowhere. Plus, I feel like there’s a little too much focus on Hugh Jackman. I know he’s the main character, but it doesn’t give the other characters very much development. The only other characters who seem to get almost as much attention are Zac Efron and Zendaya. And their relationship is very forced. It also makes me uncomfortable given the age difference. But yeah, the other circus performers I barely even remember. They have this one song that they sing after Hugh Jackman shuns them and I really didn’t care. The song itself was good, but there wasn’t an emotional impact.

Whenever a song is happening, that’s when the movie becomes powerful. These scenes make me feel like there is a good movie to be found. That was sadly not the case. It just jumps from scene to scene without much coherence. The pacing is very sloppy. The ending is especially rushed. It almost feels as though there were at least 20 minutes cut from the film. One of my complaints with the Last Jedi was that it was too long. This, however, is too short. It tries to cram as much story details in such a short amount of time. Another problem I had was some of the use of background music. One scene in particular has Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron talking and the instrumental of The Other Side starts playing in the background. That music didn’t really fit that particular situation and kind of took me out of the movie. It would’ve been better if there was no music in that scene. Also, I should probably point this out. There are quite a few of similarities to the movie “Sing”. A guy recruits people to be in his show, he starts acting like a jerk, they get into a situation involving the building which ruins the host’s hopes and dreams, the performers cheer him up, and they end up putting a show on at the end. This is Sing but with humans! There is also a little bit of irony. There’s a critic who shows up to Barnum’s shows and always says how much he hates them and Barnum basically says that it doesn’t matter as long as the audience likes it. THAT’S THIS MOVIE IN A NUTSHELL!!! It’s been getting bashed by critics while most of the general audience has been enjoying it.

I was really looking forward to this movie! The trailers made it look so good! But overall, it the story was very incoherent and messy. And this is a shame because the musical numbers are so good. I can’t believe they would waste such great songs and talent on this mess. It’s better than High School Musical, but nowhere near as good as La La Land.

Score: 4/10

Comments

I actually quite liked this movie, even though I agreed with a couple things you said story wise (I didn't care much for the romance and it was a bit rushed). I just had a lot of fun watching this movie though, and I loved the musical performances. You did compare it to Sing, which I guess it is a little like it, but I think the reason why I like this movie and not Sing is because this movie actually has original songs instead of taking well known pop songs and shoehorning them into the movie. - Phillip873

@Phillip873 I agree. - ResonatingScreamS

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