Original Title: Die unendliche Geschichte
English Title: The NeverEnding Story
Country: West Germany, USA
Genre: Adventure, Family
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
I am genuinely underwhelmed by this film, and to tell the truth many adventurous family fantasy films from past decades nearly live up to their fame, the most notorious one is THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987), and now TNS is another competent contender (the first three STAR WARS are the scarce exceptions).
The film is Petersen’s exacting project after the tremendous triumph of DAS BOOT (1981), but the slender skeleton of the story (a 90 minutes running time which only covers half of the original novel by Michael Ende) could not even ignite any thrill after 28 years of its release. The only redeeming feature is the onerous special effects which are yet behind the times. Maybe the ugly truth is that I have become so immune to all these childish fairy tales, thus I feel frustrated by the wide-eyed storytelling without any visual tenability, it seems that my commitment of the film is null and void, which just leaves me the only option is to find fault with the film’s sumptuous but jejune storytelling, if Fantasia is so insipid, it may not worth any fantasies there.
I also wonder whether or not films like THE LORD OF THE RING TRILOGY, HARRY POTTER franchise or AVATAR (2009), our nowadays favorites will receive the same mishaps several decades later? Time will tell, but save for an indomitable technique renovation, it is the sole sincerity towards his demographic viewers that any filmmaker should bravely undertake before let their works ravage the market and become a cash-bagging vicious circle, which is verifiable throughout the entire march progress of film industry.