Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Greatest Showman

Hugh Jackman is once again hanging out with an odd group that is revered by some and feared by others. It's not my favorite super powered mutants but instead "freaks" of the circus world. Don't worry though, they are not without their abilities. When confronted with opposition, they can pull off some fantastic, colorful song and dance numbers that rival the intensity of Moulin Rouge or an evening with the percussion performers Stomp.

The Greatest Showman is oh so loosely based on the life of P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) who is synonymous with the "spectacular, spectacular" ( I can't stay away from the Moulin Rouge references when thinking about this movie). A long opening number speeds us through Barnum's impoverished and often cruel childhood that includes being an orphan, living on the streets and trying to romance the upper class Charity (Michelle Williams). He finally whisks her away into a marriage with two kids and lots of dreams. Founding a lackluster museum attraction that finds little success, he has a eureka moment thanks to one of his daughters and realizes he needs living breathing oddities to draw the crowds. He ends up with all the usual suspects and takes off to unparalleled success.

I love musicals; so The Greatest Showman was an easy sell. From the old school extravaganzas through to Once More with Feeling (the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode in case you didn't know), the idea that we could all burst into song is a delightful idea. There is no disappointment here with the music and dance numbers. I'll say that the story in between dragged the movie down a bit for me but just like the in the plot, when life has got you down, pick yourself up with a high note, a clap and some stomps. I'll give this Huge Ackman (a little Night at the Museum joke that probably isn't as funny as I think) and his crew an B+.