Horrid Henry: The Movie Movie Review
Henry (Stevenson) is a precocious pre-teen with an aversion to homework. His parents (Horne and Hayes) try to spur him on, but he continues to annoy his teacher Miss Battleaxe (Huston) and headmistress Miss Oddbod (Front), while waging war on nemesis Margaret (Stitt). When a local private-school headmaster (Grant) plots to steal the students, Henry realises that saving his school is his only option. Now working with Margaret, his high-achieving little brother Peter (Marron) and the super-nice Miss Lovely (Nagra), they put a plan in motion.
Yes, the plot is about as thin as it can be, so the filmmakers spice everything up with the lurid colour combinations and lots of goofy effects, while urging the actors to ham it up shamelessly. So after about 30 seconds of unfocussed, relentless chaos, we know we're in trouble. By exaggerating every gesture, setting and costume, the movie fails to make us smile even once, let alone laugh out loud. And children in the audience are just as restless as the adults, because there's so little in the way of characters or plot to hold our attention.
That said, a few of the cast members emerge with their dignity intact. Huston manages to find some subtext far beneath the script's inane dialog, Horne remains just short of a caricature, and Nagra elegantly glides through each scene as if she's in another movie. On the other hand, Hayes gurns relentlessly, and comedy duo Dick and Dom (as hosts of Henry's favourite TV show 2 Cool 4 School) are just embarrassing.
As for Stevenson, he is certainly a bundle of charm, energy and multi-faceted talent, but he's directed to a performance that's far too manic. There's potential in the set-up for an amusing film, building on the way each character name includes a adjective (Moody Margaret, Perfect Peter and so on). But really this should have been made as an animated feature, which might have made the excessive silliness a little more bearable.
Cast & Crew
Director : Nick Moore
Producer : Rupert Preston, Lucinda Whiteley
Screenwriter : Lucinda Whiteley