Problem with Whedon directing Shakespeare is he's not nearly as distinctive a director as he is a writer, so most of the interest here lies in the actors and the occasional physical gag. The former are acceptable (only Acker and Fillion (and maybe Kranz) are outstanding), and the latter are too easy, if fairly chucklesome.
In which Whedon proves he can take on Shakespeare (and Lubitsch) with not just style but respect. Comparing this to, say, Kenneth Branagh's version is instructive, and not at all flattering to Branagh. Branagh is striving for the highest artistic aspiration he can imagine, and Joss is out to give you a good time. Much Ado makes you feel that the latter isn't too far from the former at all. 4 out of 5 stars.
Mumblecore antidote: a fun, smart, and visually pleasing film in which Joss demonstrates all he's good at—creating tension onscreen, compositions with a lot of people in them, balanced exposition of all characters, an intuitive mobility through spaces. This, and the appropriation of Shakespeare's play in lieu of naturalistic dialogue, expose a great part of contemporary indie films for how boring their style is.
The best adaption of a fairly minor Shakespeare play. Slick, near perfect comic timing, and top notch acting all the way. I do think some editing could have been had but whatever, its still good times.
I think Whedon did an excellent job at modernizing Shakespeare without stripping it entirely of it's more antiquated humor, which is either played completely by the book in adaptations or revamped entirely in favorable of something more modern. There were all the physical, goofy moments mingled with some more dry choices. Fillion as Dogberry was the funniest part of the movie. So hilarious!
Based off of the trailer, I didn't think this would work very well but I was pleasantly surprised! The actors all did an amazing job with the dialogue, making it feel very natural. You can tell Whedon really cared and understood the subject matter and just how funny the play can be. The full theater I was in was just howling with laughter. It took a moment for the style to settle but once it did, it was glorious.
The idea seems interesting. The directing is good, Joss has style and cinematography is beautiful, especially with black and white. But the cast seems wrong, actor and actress is so unnature. They try to be funny but they're not. As a person who knows nothing about the story before, I don't understand it and can't feel anything. I must find the 1993 version of Kenneth Branagh to watch and it's truly better than this.