The "live action" Lion King looks really cool. For the first ten minutes of the movie, I simply could not believe that the animals were not real. It is one of the greatest achievements in special effects I have ever seen.
Then I wanted to fall asleep. And I am not exaggerating at all. After the initial awe of how life-like the animals were wore off, there was literally nothing to keep me interested in this movie. I could not wait for it to be over.
As the father of a twelve year old, sometimes you need to "take one for the team" and accompany her to movie you would never watch on your own (I'm looking at you Smallfoot). Sometimes you get lucky and your spouse has a small urge to see the film. This was not the case for The Lion King. Neither my wife nor I enjoyed the original Lion King at all. In fact, I have never made it through the entire film in one sitting.
I understand that many people love the original and I am not here to tell them they are wrong, but it is simply not for me. I don't think it is funny. I don't like the songs. Most importantly, I think Simba is a whiny little wuss who turns his back on his friends and family. Yeah I know he is just a kid... but I'd prefer my heroes not be whiny little wusses who run away instead of trying to help (I'm looking at you Luke Skywalker from The Last Jedi).
There now you have seen the cute lion cub. You can stay home now.
I am not saying that my opinion is the only right opinion, but it is valid. If you don't believe me, try this little game. State an action that Simba took and then follow it up with, "like a little wuss".
Simba gets into trouble and makes his father bail him out... like a little wuss.
Simba abandons his mother... like a little wuss.
Simba abandons his best friend Nala... like a little wuss.
After his father is killed and his pride needs all the help it can get, he runs away... like a little wuss.
While his community is going to Hell, Simba sings "Hakuna Matata"... like a little wuss.
Simba never bothers to check on his mother... like a little wuss.
I can keep going but I think you get the point.
Of course in the end he comes around and does the right thing, but by then, I was so bored and annoyed that I was only happy the movie was over.
This lion is not roaring, he is yawning... just like I was for almost two hours.
Because I had never seen the original in one sitting, I kept an open mind and thought that I might enjoy this version with "fresh eyes". I was completely wrong. I can sum it up with one text that I sent during the movie. (Don't worry I wasn't disturbing anyone. We went to a 10:00 AM showing on a weekday and we were literally the only two people in the theater).
Here is the exact message I sent my wife:
"So you remember the last time I sent a text during a movie? Me either."
"So freaking boring."
Perhaps if you are a huge fan of the original, you will enjoy this version. If not, and your kids want to go, fake being sick and send your spouse... then by them an apology gift.
Is The Lion King worth your time?