Review: ‘Pinocchio’ Fails To Come Alive

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PINOCCHIO (2022)

Wholly unnecessary and without an ounce of charm, aside from Cynthia Erivo’s appearance as the Blue Fairy, Pinocchio is a nightmarish adaptation of the animated classic with a performance from Tom Hanks that is as wooden as the puppet at the film’s core.

Robert Zemeckis directs Hanks as Geppetto, a woodcarver who creates a boy puppet that, after a wish is made and granted, comes alive. The moments of visual creativity and stunning imagery are immediately overshadowed by the lifeless delivery of well-known story. The voice talents of Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as Pinocchio, nor Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiminy Cricket, are enough to rescue what essentially is a creep show. New additions to the story, few but noticeable such as Lorraine Bracco’s Sofia the Seagull, do nothing to move the needle. Perhaps most surprising is Hanks’ notably uninspired performance, his attempts at singing elevating Pierce Brosnan’s efforts in Mamma Mia!, no small feat.

Erivo is the shining star of the entire film, her momentary appearance bringing the titular character to life both beautifully shot and charmingly delivered; When You Wish Upon A Star is moving and momentous. But in the larger scheme of things, with Disney bringing all of their animated classics to life, this end product is indefensibly pointless. I love Disney (#DisneyAdult) and always find myself rooting for these new editions (2019’s Aladdin is one of my favorites), but it’s clear that minimal care or thought is going into the intent behind these projects. Zemeckis completely misses here, ironically failing to bring a story about being human to life.

Pinocchio is now streaming on Disney+.

Rating: 1/5

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