Connelly is gorgeous, Bowie shows off his package. that's all
It took me way longer to see “Labyrinth” than it should have, which may be why I can’t go so far as to call it great. The teaming of Muppet creator Jim Henson and David Bowie is without a doubt something for the eyes to behold, so rich in creations, worlds, Jennifer Connelly’s piercing eyes, and Bowie’s hair and tight, bulging pants. It just has no story.
Connelly is a histrionic teenage girl named Sarah who finds herself battling all the trickery and dangers of a maze in a mystical world. Her baby brother has been kidnapped by the mysterious Goblin King (Bowie), who has set a time limit for her to get him back. If she cannot, custody reverts to Ziggy Stardust.
For a while, I get why people love this so much. If I was still a kid, i’d love it too. The characters are quirky creations and its hard to tell if we can trust them or not, and the maze itself is automatically mysterious in that it has so many different facets. There’s a bog that’s childishly enjoyable, a frightening cave, a forest filled with creatures who can detach and toss their own heads around, and a finale that seems ripped from one of those M.C. Escher paintings with the stairs everywhere. At the very least this is made by a filmmaker who’s having fun with his own imagination. Bowie also seems really at ease here. The songs he brings to this aren't great but it’s a riot seeing him sing them surrounded by muppets, as is the hypnotic rockstar appeal he brings to this villain.
But it doesn't matter as much as it should. It feels more like we’re taking a tour of this place rather than experiencing a coherent narrative. Not much of consequence happens before we’re whisked off to something new. This disjointed feeling soon overpowers it and by the end, the result is a visual feast but it loses emotional investment.
**Part of a series i'm doing on 1986 in film, part of a larger review/ranking series on the 80's.
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