Arthur 3: The War of Two Worlds (PG) (live-action/CGI)
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This is the third film in the trilogy that started with Arthur and the Invisibles, picking up right where Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard leaves off. At the end of that movie, Maltazard had succeeded in growing to human size (or actually more like Bogo Matassalai size). It strikes me as a bit odd that he still looked like himself, whereas when Arthur shrinks to visit the Minimoys, he doesn't just look like a tiny version of himself, he actually becomes a Minimoy. But whatever. Oh, also, at the start of the third movie there's a recap of the first two movies, and it makes it sound like the second takes place just ten moons after the first, when as I said in my review of that movie, it seems more like it's two or three years later. But whatever.
Anyway, Maltazard had destroyed the telescope that would have let Arthur return to human size, but Arthur knows of another way to do so. So, he sets off with Selenia and Betameche to obtain a potion in Archibald's study that would let him do that. (Incidentally, Selenia was acting much more like herself in this movie than in the second, so I didn't really mind her having a different voice than in the first movie. In fact, I'd gotten accustomed to all the new voices, by now.) Oh, and Maltazard's son, Darkos, who'd been abandoned by his father during his defeat in the first movie, returns now. (He also has a new voice actor: Iggy Pop, replacing Jason Bateman from the first movie.) Darkos seems more menacing this time than he did in the first movie, but eventually he becomes an ally of the heroes. Anyway... Maltazard manages to obtain the growth potion before Arthur can use it himself, so Arthur's friends find another way to help him get big again, though it's rather dangerous. Meanwhile, Maltazard uses the potion to turn his army of mosquito-riding mooks human size, and wages war against the nearby town. Which he does pretty damn well with, until the Army shows up in the end. (Honestly, I don't think he had any conception of just how big the human world actually is. He was pretty much doomed to fail, with or without the interference of Arthur and the Minimoys.)
Well, I'm rating this movie a quarter of a smiley higher than the second movie, and a quarter of a smiley lower than the first movie. But to be honest, I'm not entirely sure whether I actually liked this slightly less less than, slightly more than, or equally to the first movie. It felt kind of slow to me at first, but it gradually got better. And there were some things I definitely liked, little bits of continuity from the earlier movies. And as always, the animation was good, the humor was decent, and this was definitely the most action-y of the three movies. I was a bit disappointed that we never got to see Selenia (or Betameche) grow to human size. (Though if they had, they probably still would have been CGI, which would be pointless, and if they'd turned human, that could have been even more disappointing, potentially. Besides being even more confusing, with regard to my earlier question of why Maltazard didn't turn human, or whatever.) Um... I also want to say I continue to wish I could learn more about the Minimoy world... and the Seven Kingdoms. I have no idea what that even means, because I think we've only seen two kingdoms (possibly three, if the area where Max- who wasn't in this movie- lives counts as one). Also I have no idea why Selenia and Betameche look closer to human than any other Minimoys I saw in any of the movies, including their father. And um... there are probably any number of things in the movies that don't make sense. And I'd still really love to see the uncut French versions of the movies. (I don't doubt that they're considerably better than the American versions, though I still liked the Americanized versions more than critics did.) Um... and maybe I should actually try reading the books, someday.
Anyway, I'm probably forgetting various important things, as well as intentionally leaving lots out. But it was a fun movie. And at the start of the closing credits, Darkos sings "Rebel Rebel," for no apparent reason, which was kind of fun. Though I feel ambivalent about it since it's a David Bowie song, and he voiced Maltazard in the original but not the sequels. I guess it's sort of okay considering Darkos is voiced by Iggy Pop, though the character doesn't much sound like him... So, whatever. I dunno. Never mind. It's a fun movie and a fun trilogy. And stuff.