We had used the first three episodes as a pretext to vilify the aesthetic conformism and the general darkening of part of the platform productions. After this false real start, things don’t get any better, on the contrary. Accentuating to the point of parody the underexposure characteristic of the ugly series that abound on Netflix and other Disney+, Willow is a work not only hideous, but sometimes purely and simply unwatchableespecially when fighting indoors or at night, which is most of them.
Some might hypothesize that Christian Slater demanded in his contract that he be made unrecognizable, ashamed of being reduced to playing second fiddle in such a cynical masquerade (failed, we found you). But almost all of the 8 episodes are almost as bland as his. Another theory: The designs of the creatures and costumes that made the original so popular are so cheap that Disney ordered them hidden behind 50 shades of chestnut. Some will even go so far as to assume that it is in fact a question of adapting the colorimetry to the ugly supermarket pop that regularly replaces the splendid themes of the late James Horner.
Unless a cinematographer (in this case, the Will Baldy of Sandman) was only hired from the seventh episode, the only one that at least takes the trouble to claim to keep the promise of a great adventure, and from which a good part of the promotional visuals are taken… would act not to upset the marketing department either.
It still happens that a new Disney+ production denies the concept of contrast, but to treat the universe in this way george lucas, Ron Howard and Bob Dolman must fall under the scope of criminal mistreatment. And sadly, that won’t even be the only charge.
Constrained both by the nostalgia emanating from the original film and by the average age of the platform’s users, Kasdan (a post-acquisition Disney regular, having worked on Solo and the future IndianaJones) and his acolytes make a big difference that even the Van Damme period mule would not have attempted. Others before them have… broken their teeth there (RIP The Walking Dead World Beyondlittle angel gone soon enough), but he persists in coupling on each photogram more or less identifiable the heritage of the 1980s and the codes of the teen serieswhich are the heyday of N rouge and some of its competitors.
Hang on: Kit Tanthalos is the daughter of Sorsha and Madmartigan – but the biological daughter of the evil Bavmordaz – gone to save her brother of the same ancestry, in the company of Jade Claymore – daughter of the second evil Kael – who will meet her own sister Scorpia, as well as of Graydon Hastur, son of the king of the province once attacked by the people of Jade and Scorpia. For that, they need the blade of Thraxus Boorman, former companion of… Madmartigan. And all these little people will mix their hormones and several centiliters of saliva in the regulatory intervals and proportions.
The scenario claims to emancipate its characters from older generations to better perpetually refer to them., trapping the poor persevering viewer, as well as the self-inflicted critic by a sadistic editor, in an endless loop of fluffy adolescent cooing and emphatic feature film references, going so far as to embed entire sequences in its empty decorations. Any desire to tell anything new or to refuse the most gamey archetypes being absent, we have to fall back on the landscapes… Oh yes: that’s not possible either.
Willow is available in full on Disney + since January 11, 2023