纽约时报 | 好莱坞魔怪片《神奇动物:格林德沃之罪》:“似乎没完没了”

Film review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwal […]

Film review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Considering that JK Rowling’s books have made several zillion pounds and her films have made several zillion more, it would take a lot of gall to read one of her screenplays and say, actually, could you cut 50 pages? But her latest ‘Wizarding World’ instalment, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, would have been improved if someone had said just that.

JK罗琳(JK Rowling)的书已经卖出了天文数字,电影赚得更多,因此读完她的剧本然后说“能不能砍掉50页”是很需要勇气的。对她最新的“魔法世界”作品,《神奇动物:格林德沃之罪》(Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald),有人能这么建议就更好了。

The sequel to 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them C or, depending on how you look at it, the prequel to the Harry Potter series C overflows with imagination and technical, well, wizardry. The cutting-edge digital effects allow every last prop to move and metamorphose with balletic grace; Stuart Craig’s production design is, as ever, a marvellous survey of historic architectural styles, and the dresses are so fabulous they overshadow the elves and dragons. An accompanying book of photos and sketches would be something to treasure. And the film itself, directed by Potter regular David Yates, is a grand achievement in many ways. But it’s also an unfocused, overwhelming and ultimately numbing sprawl that seems to drag on forever.

这部电影是2016年《神奇动物在哪里》(Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)的续集――或者取决于你怎么看,它也是《哈利波特》(Harry Potter)系列的前传,影片充满了想象力与奇特魔法。尖端的数码特效让每一个道具都能动,而且可以像跳芭蕾舞一样优雅地变形。克雷格(Stuart Craig)的美术设计一如既往地大量使用了各种历史建筑风格,令人叹为观止,影片服装精美绝伦,把精灵和龙都比得黯然失色。要是有图片册和手稿集这类的周边产品一定值得珍藏。影片由《哈利波特》系列电影的御用导演叶茨(David Yates)执导,在许多方面都很成功。但没有重点,让人没什么感觉,而且似乎拖拖拉拉的没完没了。

What’s worse is that Fantastic Beasts has the same dark and stormy mood as Warner Bros’ other live-action blockbuster franchise, its DC superhero movies. It’s a bleak catalogue of death, destruction and despair, with a colour palette ranging all the way from grey to black. This joyless tone is established in the opening sequence, in which we meet the wicked Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), a proto-Voldemort who wants witches and wizards to rule over us muggles. Grindelwald is locked up in America’s Ministry of Magic in New York in 1927, shortly after the events of the last film. But he’s due to be moved from one top-security cell to another in a different town. And as anyone who has ever seen a horror film or a gangster movie will know, that means that he is 100 per cent guaranteed to escape en route. And escape he does. In an exciting, vertigo-inducing aerial set-piece soundtracked by roaring thunder and a rumbling orchestral score, Grindelwald murders his guards C and here it really is more like a horror movie than a children’s movie C and flies off into the night.

更糟糕的是,《神奇动物》和华纳兄弟公司其他特许授权的动作大片,DC漫画公司的超级英雄电影一样,影片情绪都是黑暗暴躁的。充斥着阴冷的死亡、破坏和绝望,色调都是由灰到黑。影片一开始就定下了不欢快的基调,邪恶的格林德沃(Grindelwald,德普(Johnny Depp)饰),一位伏地魔式的人物,希望由女巫和巫师来统治非魔法界的生物。1927年,也就是第一部电影里的故事发生后不久,格林德沃被关进了位于纽约的美国魔法部。牢房的安全级别很高,但要把他转移到另一个小镇上。任何看过恐怖片或警匪片的人都知道,他100%会半路逃跑。也确实如此。在一个激动人心、令人目眩的俯拍镜头里,伴随着轰鸣的雷声和隆隆的管弦乐,格林德沃杀死了他的警卫,在夜空中飞走了――这里真的更像是一部恐怕片而不是儿童电影。

Oddly for a film with the subtitle The Crimes of Grindelwald, though, that’s about it as far as Grindelwald’s crimes are concerned. As played by Depp with corpse-like pallor and a Johnny Rotten hairdo, Grindelwald is a suitably creepy, vampiric presence, but he doesn’t do much except muttering about a potential war between wizards and muggles. And as this war was never mentioned in any of the Harry Potter novels, we know for a fact that it won’t happen.

影片的副标题叫《格林沃德之罪》,有些奇怪,但的确是讲的这个――如果格林沃德算是犯罪。德普扮演的格林沃德面如死灰,留着朋克歌手罗顿(Johnny Rotten)的发型,像吸血鬼一般令人毛骨悚然。但除了嘀咕几句巫师和非魔法界生物之间可能发生的战争,他也没做什么。由于这场战争在《哈利波特》系列小说中从未提及,我们确信它不会发生。

Still, his escape from New York to Paris is enough to lure the other characters to France. Principally, there is Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a man so shy that he mumbles his lines into the lapel of his Sherlock Holmes overcoat. Back in London after his New York escapades in the last film, Newt visits the British Ministry of Magic where his brother Theseus (Callum Turner) works as an Auror (a wizard detective). There, Newt is instructed to go to Paris to find the dangerously powerful Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), a character who, much like Kylo Ren in the most recent Star Wars films, is torn between the light and dark sides of the Force.

不过,他从纽约逃到巴黎已经足以吸引其他角色纷纷来到法国。当中以斯卡曼德(Newt Scamander,雷德梅恩(Eddie Redmayne)饰)为首,他是个十分害羞的男人,躲在福尔摩斯式的外套下,说起话来总是低着头小声咕哝。上部电影中斯卡曼德在纽约大闹一番,这次回到了伦敦,跑到了英国魔法部,他的兄弟提修斯(Theseus ,特纳(Callum Turner)饰)是那里的一名傲罗(Auror,巫师侦探)。斯卡曼德被派往巴黎寻找威力巨大的危险分子拜尔本(Credence Barebone,米勒(Ezra Miller)饰),斯卡曼德很像《星球大战》(Star Wars)最新一部电影里伦(Kylo Ren)这个角色,在原力(一种超自然的神秘力量)的光明与黑暗之间难以抉择。

Newt chooses not to accept this mission. He says he’d rather look after his magical flora and fauna C and, in the case of his Baby Groot-like pet beansprout, his magical flora which is also magical fauna. But then someone else asks him to Paris C specifically, his favourite teacher from Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). In a film that is generally as cheery as a documentary about deforestation in the Amazon, Law’s Dumbledore is a welcome bright spot: his kindly smile and avuncular manner are a tonic, and when he’s shown teaching at Hogwarts, the green grass surrounding the school is a bracing contrast to a colour scheme that otherwise matches the contents of a goth’s laundry basket. Dumbledore also supplies the film’s most tantalising mystery: when will he change from being a dapper gent in a three-piece suit, as he is in the 1920s, to being a hippy in floor-length robes, as he is when Richard Harris and Michael Gambon play him during Harry Potter’s schooldays? How old will he be when he looks in the mirror one morning and says, forget it, I’m the headmaster, if I want to go to work in my dressing gown and nightcap, who’s going to stop me?

斯卡曼德选择不接受这个任务,宁愿去照顾自己那群有魔力的花花草草――他的宝贝豆芽,既是植物也是动物,像是《银河护卫队》里的小树人格鲁特(Groot)。但后来又有人要他去巴黎――具体而言是他在霍格沃茨魔法学校最喜欢的老师邓布利多(Albus Dumbledore,裘德•洛(Jude Law)饰)。整部影片的基调就像是亚马逊森林砍伐的纪录片一样沉闷,裘德•洛饰演的邓布利多是一个让人喜欢的亮点:他和善的微笑,慈祥的态度是一剂补药。影片的整个色调都是哥特式的阴沉灰暗,而他在霍格沃茨教学时,学校周围的绿草地则与之形成了鲜明对比。邓布利多还是电影中一个最大的疑问:他是什么时候从20世纪20年代一个衣冠楚楚穿三件套西服的绅士,变成了一个身着拖地长袍的嬉皮士,成了演员哈里斯(Richard Harris)和甘本(Michael Gambon)在《哈利波特》系列电影里所扮演的邓布利多形象。如果有天早上他对着镜子说,“没关系,我是校长,想穿着睡衣睡帽去上班,谁能拦着我呢”,那他说这话的时候该是多大岁数?

Anyway... back to Newt. In an example of Rowling’s insistence on making every narrative element as convoluted as possible, he turns down Dumbledore’s request that he go to Paris, just as turned down the Ministry’s request that he go to Paris. It’s not until he meets his old buddies from the previous film, Jacob (the likeable Dan Fogler) and Queenie (Alison Sudol, impersonating Marilyn Monroe) that Newt has a brilliant idea: he’ll go to Paris.

再说回斯卡曼德。罗琳总是把每个故事元素都复杂化,譬如斯卡曼德拒绝了邓布利多让他去巴黎的请求,就跟拒绝了魔法部一样。但当他遇到了上一部电影中的老朋友,雅各布(Jacob,可爱的福勒,Dan Fogler饰演)和奎尼(Queenie,萨尔多,Alison Sudol饰,造型模仿了玛丽莲•梦露),就突然有了个好点子:他要去巴黎。

He’s not the only one. Also teleporting across the English Channel are Newt’s old flame and US Auror, Tina (Katherine Waterston); his conflicted schoolmate Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz); a woman who can turn into a snake (Claudia Kim); and many, many more. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on the cast, Fantastic Beasts will introduce some new characters to the crowd, and then flash back to those characters’ early lives. It’s a film with about 15 subplots, but no discernible plot. As it meanders from Paris to Hogwarts, from the present to the past, it abandons key characters for 10-minute stretches, and by the time it returns to them C they’re usually standing on a rooftop C it’s difficult to remember where they were the last time you saw them. The momentum never picks up. Late in the day, Newt’s duck-billed mole (or whatever it is) does something crafty, but apart from that there’s a marked absence of cunning plans and heroic acts. If you’ll excuse the pun, everyone just potters around. And there is no resolution whatsoever: after all, there are three more films in the series to go C and, knowing Rowling’s profligate creativity, there will probably be another five-film series to follow.

他不是独自一人。瞬间穿越英吉利海峡的还有他的旧情人、美国的巫师侦探蒂娜(Tina,沃森,Katherine Waterston饰)、总和他对着干的同学莱斯特兰奇(Leta Lestrange ,克拉维茨,Zoe Kravitz饰)、一个可以变成蛇的女人(金秀贤,Claudia Kim饰),以及许多许多人。你以为这就是全部人物了,但影片又加入了一堆新角色,然后又回到这些角色之前的生活。这部电影有15条次要故事线,但都没什么情节。电影走向来来回回,从巴黎到霍格沃茨,又从现在到过去,讲了10分钟关于配角的故事,当再回到主角身上的时候,你已经忘了最后一次看到他们是在哪里(通常是站在屋顶上)。全篇都没有高潮。晚上的时候,斯卡曼德的鸭嘴鼹鼠(反正就是那个东西)搞了点小手段,但除此之外就没有什么精巧妙计和英雄之举了。大家都在跑腾(跑腾算是与哈利波特的“波特”二字谐音),但没有解决什么问题。毕竟,这个系列还有三部电影要拍――罗琳的创造力如此肆意,也许之后还会诞生另一个五部电影系列。

In the meantime, hardcore Potterheads will enjoy all the little ways in which Rowling joins the dots between Fantastic Beasts and the original Harry Potter stories. There are plenty of references to familiar characters and dynasties if that’s what you’re after. But if you’re not a Potter obsessive and you’re not enchanted by these footnotes, you’ll want to know why a family blockbuster about wizards should be incapable of conjuring up more than half a dozen smiles.


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