The Greatest Showman stars Hugh Jackman among a few other recognisable names and is based around the rise of legendary entrepreneur P T Barnum. I love Hugh Jackman (albeit mainly as wolverine) and was curious to see him in a different role to what I’m used to, so I went into the final movie I am seeing that was released in 2017 quite optimistic.
What should be stressed is that The Greatest Showman is not a biopic. Anyone going into this film expecting a faithful telling of P T Barnum’s life is going to be disappointed. I don’t know much about the man himself so for me I just wanted an entertaining film with some good songs like the trailers promised.
In terms of the music, the movie certainly delivers. The songs from start to finish are catchy and upbeat, giving a real feel good factor during the singing and dancing scenes. These scenes, whilst entertaining on the whole, don’t feel like the characters are signing them in the actual scenes. It isn’t the case in every scene but in a few songs it felt a little like a music video rather than a musical. This is the only complaint I have regarding the music in The Greatest Showman. Whether its Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron or any other character leading the way, they got my foot tapping throughout the film.
Hugh Jackman’s charisma is the driving force behind the film and the producers and director must be very glad they got such a talented actor take on the role and bring it to life. Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya are the main supporting cast and each of them give decent enough performances, but never threaten to steal the film from Jackman.
That films main story is a pretty standard rags to riches story just wrapped in a 1800’s aesthetic. This basic plot does just serve as a vehicle to get to the next song, and there’s at least one song where the song doesn’t quite match the tone of the particular moment we are in. I get the feeling from other reviews from people who may know more about P T Barnum, and from what I gather there is a much more complicated and interesting story to be told by a film based on him. What The Greatest Showman delivers is a generic fun musical without the depth that some might have hoped for from the source material. The musical numbers justify going to see the film, but don’t go expecting much beyond that.
The Good : Musical fans will undoubtedly get a kick from the musical elements of The Greatest Showman, and Jackman is so magnetic on-screen he will satisfy any fans of his.
The Bad : Generic plot and the more emotional moments not really hitting let the film down. Also some of the worst CGI in recent memory, like full on Playstation 2 graphics on show.
6.5/10 – The slightly above average show!