A New York Winter's Tale – review

A New York Winter's Tale

The only way this film could be made worse would be to be eaten by a badger while watching it

In this modern-day fairytale romance, Colin Farrell has two facial expressions. Number one is roguish lock of hair falling over face. Number two is roguish lock of hair swept back from face. He plays Peter, a roguish handsome guy in late 19th-century New York, with a wayward lock of hair – and an Irish accent. His character has never been to Ireland. As a baby, Peter had been sent to Manhattan, swaddled up in a model boat, like Moses, by desperate would-be immigrant parents who had been turned back at Ellis Island because of their TB. As a grownup thief and adorable ne'er-do-well he falls in love with a beautiful young heiress who is dying – of TB! So maybe Peter actually killed her! The selfish bastard.

Anyway, with Downton-typecasting, the ailing posh heiress is played by Jessica Brown Findlay. Their love is to break the cosmic bonds of time and lovelorn Peter is to emerge in modern New York, sometimes with the lock of hair in front of his face and sometimes behind. He is fighting for his life against Russell Crowe, playing pudgy baddie Pearly Soames. Pearly is working for Lucifer, played by Will Smith; who is so outrageous in the role, I am going to try a citizen's arrest for thespian-crime the next time he sets foot in the UK, the way Christopher Hitchens suggested with Henry Kissinger. How could this film be made worse? Only by giving Lucifer a scene with Lucifer Jr played by Jaden Smith.

Or perhaps by releasing a giant, vicious, genetically engineered man-eating badger into the cinema while it's playing.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Peter Bradshaw, for The Guardian on Thursday 20th February 2014 21.50 Europe/London

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