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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2306)

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Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The (1989) 
"The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen" by Yojimbo
2.5/4 stars

An ageing adventurer infamous for his tall tales volunteers to help a French town besieged by a Turkish army. The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen is unmistakably a Terry Gilliam film. It is a feast of creative visuals that hark from before the days of CGI that is lavish in its invention and meticulous in its hand-crafted detail in a way that is no longer seen in modern cinema. Unfortunately the lavishness of its production meant that its budget spiralled ever more out of control meaning that Munchausen will ever be remembered as one of the great flops which is rather unfair as the film does have plenty to commend it. It has a fine and characterful cast including some greats of stage and comedy, the afore-mentioned beautiful production design and the opening and closing stages of the story set during the siege are actually very well done. It does lose its way however during the flabby central section that falls foul of self indulgence. The Baron's quest to locate his former comrades is over-stretched, over long and over-acted, the episode set on the moon in particular is guilty of all three, and the dialogue is neither sharp nor funny as it should be. In the end Terry Gilliam's love letter to the power of the imagination may leave mainstream audiences bemused and bored but fans of Gilliam will find plenty to enjoy in this flamboyantly flawed fairytale.


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