The second trailer for Dreamworks’ The Grinch dropped today, providing some solid laughs and teasing that the latest reboot will dive a little deeper into the daily life of the Grinch before he stole Christmas. Still, while it is too early to make too strong of judgments one way or another, it’s hard not to be disappointed by what we’ve seen so far, especially since the film seems to be wasting Cumberbatch’s talents by having him not commit to going full “Grinch.”
We all know that Cumberbatch has no problem playing an asshole, as he became a star due to his work in BBC’s Sherlock, where portrayed the titular detective as an angry, complicated anti-hero who doesn’t give a fuck about anyone else’s feelings. He also infused a healthy dose of malice into his performance of Smaug, the gold-obsessed dragon, in the last two films of the Hobbit trilogy.
So on paper, Cumberbatch is the perfect choice for the role but sadly, he doesn’t seem to be embracing his dark side of the Grinch, which is a bit strange, considering the Grinch is a character who hates Christmas so much he decides to steal it. Unfortunately, Cumberbatch’s performance seems to fall in line with the Dreamworks’ vision, as the two trailers that have been released show a lighter interpretation of the classic Dr. Seuss story.
The newest trailer tells viewers “it’s never too early to be annoyed by Christmas” and, in a strange way, that watered down tagline serves as a giant metaphor for the upcoming film. This is a Grinch that doesn’t feel mean or menacing. There’s no doubt he’s a jerk but it feels like he’s a jerk that’s ultimately seen as a punchline instead of an outsider who strikes fear in the heart of all citizens of Whoville.
Of course, these are just trailers, so there’s certainly a chance the actual film explores the real darkness and bitterness that lies in the Grinch. But for now, it looks like Dreamworks is going the safe route that will likely lead to a lot more money but an ultimately less interesting movie experience.