Arts & Entertainment - Review: Beautiful Creatures

First there were vampires and werewolves, and now to replace them are witches and warlocks.
For those who are missing the epic vampire romance of the Twilight saga, or are waiting for the next adventure in the second Hunger Games movie, Beautiful Creatures can fulfill your fix of the supernatural and romance.
Beautiful Creatures, based on the book series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, envelops the audience into the mythical world of witches, or casters as they liked to be called. High school junior Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) is one of them, who is the new girl in a small town in South Carolina. Living with her wealthy, but strange uncle, Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons), the townspeople quickly turn on them when they believe their family is “devil worshippers.”
This doesn’t stop fellow classmate Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) from pursuing a relationship with Lena. After a chance encounter during a rainy afternoon (how romantically cliché), the two form a connection and inevitably fall for each other.
Eventually, Lena tells Ethan the truth, and since her 16th birthday is closely approaching, she will soon be able to gain all of her powers. But there’s a catch: Will she become a good or a bad witch?
The answer to this question lays the foundation for the rest of the movie, as Lena begins her quest to stay on the side with halos and wings, while her mother and cousin, played by Emma Thompson and Emmy Rossum, try to beckon her to the dark side.
Beautiful Creatures is a pretty good movie. It has all the elements that make a movie great: action, romance, comedy, awesome special effects, and suspense. But the neat little bow director Richard LaGravenese has to tie everything together doesn’t always work. One of the strangest parts of the movie is when an event that occurred during the Civil War plays a role in the fate of Lena’s powers. Really? Why the Civil War? This and a few other unanswered questions make the film less cohesive.
In spots where the plot is lacking, the ensemble cast greatly makes up for it. With top-notch talent such as Academy Award winners Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson and Academy Award nominee Viola Davis, they hold their own in their supporting roles and bring a humanizing element to their odd characters.
Newcomers Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich serve as the perfect models of the realistic teen couple, albeit all the magic happening in the background. Their down-to-earthiness is reminiscent of Edward and Bella from the Twilight series.
The one who steals the show is not Englert or Ehrenreich, but supporting player Emmy Rossum. She slithers her way in and out of the movie as Lena’s evil cousin, Ridley. In the parts she appears in, Rossum adds a certain spark to the screen and instantly grabs attention. Even if Ridley is meant to be a malicious character, you can’t help but to become fascinated with her and wonder which scene she will appear in next.
Overall, Beautiful Creatures is a decent film. Will it be one of the best pictures of the year? Probably not. But will it satisfy teen audiences? Most likely.
Grade: B-

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