‘The Greatest Showman’ Is ‘Magnificently Idiotic’ and 6 Other Chaotic Reviews

“The Greatest Showman” is failing to capture audiences as reviews are trickling in — the musical, holding a score of 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, is being described as “an awful mess” and a “disappointing circus.”
“The actual movie? Send in the clowns. Michael Gracey’s directorial debut is a disappointing circus of thinly developed characters, overly earnest melodrama and song-and-dance sequences that are more like unrelated music videos sewn together for a threadbare narrative,” USA Today’s Brian Truitt wrote, while The San Francisco Chronicle’s Mick LaSalle said, “It’s magnificently idiotic. It’s an awful mess, but it’s flashy.”
Boston Globe’s Ty Burr added, “There is nothing especially wrong with it other than that for some of us it represents 105 minutes in hell.”
Also Read: 'The Greatest Showman' Film Review: Hugh Jackman's Barnum Musical Is an Empty Tent
TheWrap’s film critic, Robert Abele, called the film a “fidgety, shallow musical” that has “empty, loud breathlessness.”
Still, some critics praise the film’s energy and the musical numbers, calling it an enjoyable movie “enough to keep you entertained.”
“The Greatest Showman” is directed by Michael Gracey from a script by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon, with songs written by “La La Land” lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Hugh Jackman, Zendaya, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson and Michelle Williams star in the movie that tells the story of P.T. Barnum. The film has been nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Musical or Comedy, Best Original Song, and Best Actor for Jackman.
Also Read: Why Celebrate 'Terrible' PT Barnum at All in 'The Greatest Showman'? (Guest Blog)
The Rotten Tomatoes score for “The Greatest Showman” is subject to change. Read the 7 worst reviews below.
Brian Truitt, USA Today: 
“The soundtrack for the P.T. Barnum biopic musical ‘The Greatest Showman’ is chock full of amazing and catchy tunes you’ll be humming after the credits roll. The actual movie? Send in the clowns. Michael Gracey’s directorial debut is a disappointing circus of thinly developed characters, overly earnest melodrama and song-and-dance sequences that are more like unrelated music videos sewn together for a threadbare narrative. Hugh Jackman’s the ringmaster of this disjointed affair, though it’s not entirely his fault Barnum’s the least interesting part of his own movie.”
Jason Zinoman, The New York Times:
“‘The Greatest Showman,’ a montage sequence that occasionally turns into a movie musical, steers clear of any contemporary resonance and ignores meaty themes. The first-time director Michael Gracey achieves an aggressively synthetic style through kinetic editing and tidy underdog stories, but none of the true joy of pulling a fast one. It’s a standard-issue holiday biopic, one that tells a story about a populist entertainer hungry for highbrow respect, the joys of showbiz and the price of ambition. An amusement park version of P.T. Barnum is fine, as far as that goes, but if you are going to aim for family-friendly fun, you need to get the fun part right.”
Rafer Guzman, Newsday:
“‘The Greatest Showman’ is absolutely, utterly so-so… Thanks also to the stationary camerawork of first-time director Michael Gracey and the sepia-tone cinematography by Seamus McGarvey, ‘The Greatest Showman’ stays in an artistic middle lane from start to finish. A little more humbug would have gone a long way.”
Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times:
“Rather to explain why ‘The Greatest Showman,’ for all its celebratory razzle-dazzle, in the end feels curiously lacking in conviction. Its pleasures, namely those Pasek-Paul songs, could be removed and repurposed for another story entirely, with no discernible loss in enjoyment or meaning.”
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair: 
“The fact is, ‘The Greatest Showman’ did make me smile, despite its clunky storytelling and troubled optics. The songs have been in my head for weeks, and not unpleasantly so. I’m prone to support musicals, a great American art form that forever struggles to be taken seriously. In that spirit, I’m somewhat reluctantly rooting for ‘The Greatest Showman,’ for Hugh, for Zac, for poor Rebecca Ferguson’s lost voice. But all my general affection for a musical trying to make it in the world can’t quite cover up the stink of what I think is lying at the heart of this film. It’s all a bit meta, a faux-inspirational movie about a trickster showman accidentally serving as commentary on the faux-inspiration industry.”
See Video: Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya Join James Corden for Broadway Edition of 'Crosswalk Musical'
Ty Burr, Boston Globe: 
“The movie is earnest, enthusiastic, and relentless, and it’s put over by stars Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron in what constitutes a master class in jazz hands. It’s reasonably well made and will be an enormous hit, especially among young teenage girls and their families. There is nothing especially wrong with it other than that for some of us it represents 105 minutes in hell.”
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: 
“There’s idiotic, and there’s magnificent, but ‘The Greatest Showman’ is that special thing that happens sometimes. It’s magnificently idiotic. It’s an awful mess, but it’s flashy. The temptation is to cover your face and watch it through your fingers, because it’s so earnest and embarrassing and misguided — and yet it’s well-made.  People actually intended this, to make exactly this movie, and Hugh Jackman, as P.T. Barnum, puts it over. Thus, we get the perfect realization of a really bad idea.”

Related stories from TheWrap:’Greatest Showman’ Cast to Perform Live Trailer During Fox’s ‘A Christmas Story’ MusicalWatch Zendaya, Zac Efron Accidentally Collide During ‘Greatest Showman’ Outtake (Video)’The Greatest Showman’: Hugh Jackman Corrals Lions, Elephants and Bearded Ladies – Oh My! (Video)

Source: The Wrap

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