Labyrinth (1986) - Hey Little Sister, It's A Nice Day For A White Wedding April 05, 2019 08:00
Labyrinth pours from the amazing mind of Jim Henson, a pioneer of modern day puppetry. As a child born in the mid 80's and growing up in the 90's I watched Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Muppets, and my personal favorite the 90's sitcom style show Dinosaurs, which to this day is still one of my favorite shows. Labyrinth is definitely worth some of the praise it receives in terms of production value, but as an overall film there are major hindrances which keep this from being a solid classic, at least in my book.
Jennifer Connelly is Sara, a fifteen year old girl stuck between fantasy and reality, she spends most of her free time reciting lines from a story entitled The Labyrinth. Sara's a little bit self involved and takes that out on her step-mother and infant step-brother Toby. When asked to watch Toby one evening Sara becomes aggravated with her little brother who refuses to stop crying, and in a fit of frustration wishes the Goblin King would come take her brother away, and to her surprise he does. Sara attempts to take back her wish but Jareth the Goblin King (David Bowie) refuses to adhere to her pleas, instead he gives her the chance to rescue him if she can adverse through the labyrinth within thirteen hours, otherwise Toby will be turned into one of his goblins.
Production wise Labyrinth is top notch for it's time, and probably only the special effects could be bettered with today's technology, the sets and puppets are all very lifelike and believable which really helps bring the fantasy essence of the film to life. Jennifer Connelly does a fine job in one of her earlier roles, it's certainly nothing amazing but she definitely proves she has some talent at such a young age. But David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King is where I have to begin faulting Labyrinth.
Bowie's acting is horrendous, and his singing isn't any better, that may be due to the fact the musical numbers are borderline awful and Bowie looks like he stepped out of A Flock Of Seagulls music video. If the strange rock style villain was what they were truly looking for my choice would have been Billy Idol, he has the look and the voice much better suited for such a role.
Overall, I have to give Labyrinth a mildly average score, casting Bowie as the villain over camps the movie and the songs are so horrible it drags down the enjoyment, and the ambiance of the film, which was quite high when neither was around. Also don't expect much of a story, Labyrinth bases it's entire plot on meeting the next unusual character and progressing through to the next scene, it's something that could go on indefinitely. When it comes to a darker style of film like this in the 80's I recommend The Neverending Story, or Return To Oz over this, but if your a hardcore Jim Henson or David Bowie fan you might find it more enjoyable than I did.