Adaptations are not as easy as you’d think. Take, for example, Disney’s Artemis Fowl–it should be an instant hit. Based on the popular book series by Eoin Colfer, it has all the elements of a successful franchise: the kid hero, crime thriller, gadgets, hyper-realistic technology, trolls, dwarves, and fairies. But when an adaptation fails, it’s usually because the film couldn’t capture the very thing readers loved about the book.
Artemis Fowl II (Ferdia Shaw) is the 12-year-old son of Artemis Fowl, Sr. (Colin Farrell), a trader of rare antiquities and collectibles. It is rumored that for generations, the Fowls have been, in fact, thieves and criminal masterminds. It has been bestowed upon young Artemis a great deal of knowledge and brainpower from his father. He sits at the top of his class. He could have earned a doctorate by now if he didn’t treat his fellow students with such disdain. He’s also quite skilled in athletics and fighting thanks to the butler Domovoi Butler (Nonso Anozie), but don’t call him the “butler.”
“…for generations, the Fowls have been, in fact, thieves and criminal masterminds.”
When Artemis, Sr. goes out on what promises to be his last adventure, he disappears in a helicopter accident. Young Artemis receives a mysterious phone call saying if he doesn’t deliver the ancient artifact, the Aculos, in three days, his father dies.
What is the Aculos? Long story, but growing up, Artemis learned Irish folklore from his father. Every night he was told bedtime stories of a world of fairies, goblins, trolls, dwarves, etc. Well, the stories were not folklore, but real and the Aculos is the ultimate fairy device bestowing immense power, and the kidnapper wants it.
As Artemis racks his brain looking for clues from every story he’s ever been told. He pieces the puzzle together and captures an actual fairy named Holly Short (Lara McDonnell). The kidnapping of Holly alerts the entire fairy kingdom and brings the elite LEPrecon squad to his home. Led by Commander Root (Judi Dench) and bound by the laws of the fairies, Root enlists the services of criminal dwarf Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad) to extract Holly.
"…it was better off being a Disney Channel show rather than a Disney Studios feature."