Beauty and The Beast (12A)

Disney’s 1991 animated classic gets a live-action reboot. But can it live up to the family favourite?

The answer in short is no. I was massively underwhelmed by Beauty and The Beast.

We watch as bookish Belle (Emma Watson) goes about her day in her so-called “provisional town”. Everyone seems to be in love with Belle but she has an air of arrogance about her.

When her father Maurice (Kevin Kline) disappears after visiting a mysterious castle Belle goes in search of the notorious inventor.

Belle reaches the castle and is surprised to find that her father is being held captive by a monstrous creature known only as ‘Beast’ (Dan Stevens). Despite her critical nature, she glosses over the poor-quality CGI and pretends that the Beast isn’t just Downtown Abbey’s favourite heartthrob in a big furry suit.

The youngster trades places with her father and sets him free, ready for a life of solitude with her furry foe. Well at least she can get some space from those provincial peasants she’s so sick of.

In the worst case of Stockholm Syndrome we’ve seen in a Disney movie, Belle soon falls for her captor after finding that he’s actually pretty hot, just cursed at the moment.

The movie also stars Luke Evans as Gaston who is just terrible, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere whose Scottish accent appears sporadically, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts and Josh Gad as LeFou.

By now you’re probably getting the impression that I’m not taking this movie all too seriously, well in truth I’m not. Twilight director Bill Condon has managed to create an all-star remake that completely dilutes the joy of the 1991 animation and instead serves up a lukewarm romantic snore-fest.

Beauty and the Beast may be a story as old as time, but this is one chapter you can afford to skip.

By Ruth Walker

★★☆☆☆

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