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Review Hugo (2011): Highly overrated. Scorsese can do much better

genre: fantasy, drama

In all honesty I wasn't very impressed with Martin Scorsese's latest production. It was underwhelming to say the least. I kept reading how magical it was. But it takes two hours to get there. And I can't deny that most of the story is nice and charming. Although you are misled from the beginning that there is more to it than initially presented. You are let to believe that Ben Kingsley's character is in agony and that it is something of dramatic or even epic proportions. Maybe it was too him. But for the viewer it is not. The tribute to the silent film era was touching and the plead to film preservation was also very clear to me. And while those are solid messages it simply is not enough to convince me. I did enjoy Sascha Baron Cohen in his role as the Station Inspector. He is the one providing the comic relief but at the same time has more depth to him than the other (sadly undeveloped) characters. Overall it is not completely a waste of time although it's not a movie I can recommend. For that it was much too light and empty. I do think that because of the fact that Hugo is paying tribute to cinema and film making in general it gets a pass by critics concerning the story, characterization and other essential elements. Had this been another (less experienced) director then I might have done so as well. Since it's not I am entitled to be more critical since Scorsese can do much better.

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