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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/10/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 130 mins

Hugely enjoyable fantasy adventure with a witty script, strong comic performances, several wonderful gags and genuine chemistry between its two leads.

What's it all about?
Charlie Cox plays Tristan Thorn, who ventures through the Forbidden Wall in search of a fallen star, with which to win the hand of the town beauty (Sienna Miller). However, Tristan is unprepared for what he finds: the star is in fact a beautiful woman named Yvaine (Claire Danes) and she doesn't take kindly to being handed over as a present.

That's the least of Yvaine's problems, however - she's also being pursued by an evil witch (Michelle Pfeiffer, enjoying herself enormously) who wants to eat her heart in order to stay young and beautiful, plus two rival princes (Mark Strong and Jason Flemyng) are on her trail because of a necklace that brought her down to earth. On top of all that, there's the small mystery of Tristan's mother to contend with.

The Good
Considering the huge number of characters and sub-plots, director Matthew Vaughn (aka Mr Claudia Schiffer) and screenwriter Jane Goldman (aka Mrs Jonathan Ross) do a remarkable job of keeping each plot strand moving. The action / fantasy sequences are enjoyable (the spells fight is better than anything in the Harry Potter films) and the cast are terrific, especially Robert DeNiro, who has a fabulous part as the Dreaded Pirate (by reputation, at least), Captain Shakespeare.

Danes and Cox make a great screen couple - they have real chemistry together, which, literally, lights up the screen. The film is also extremely funny - there are several hilarious lines and many wonderful sight gags, such as Michelle's witch aging a little more every time she uses magic.

The Great
In addition, this is a film that finally understands that audiences want only two things from a Ricky Gervais cameo: 1) to see him shut up, and 2) to see him get killed. Happily, this delivers both.

Worth seeing?
In short, Stardust is a delight from start to finish, thanks to a superb script, an engaging, imaginative story and top-notch performances. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 17/09/2019 03:03

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