Movie Review: Artemis Fowl (Spoiler-Free)

Movie: Artemis Fowl (2020)

Rating: 2 out of 10 stars


This is the first movie review I have written, and I wish that the movie was better. In fact, this is one of the rare occasions that a movie has made me angry by how much it differed from the book.

As a fan of the Artemis Fowl series, I was mortified by how Disney mutilated what had been an enchanting story into an awkward compilation of multiple books’ plots with some entirely new random stuff thrown in.

Below, I have outlined the pros and cons of the movie. I will be as vague as necessary to avoid spoilers.


  • The movie had decent special effects.
  • The Therapy Session Scene was well-executed.

Racking my mind for any other positive aspects of this movie….

I got nothing.


  • The characters were ruined
    • For example…
      • Artemis Fowl was a good guy in the movie – not a criminal mastermind.
      • Artemis was also an active outdoorsman in the movie, while he was a pallid, inactive boy in the book series. The first book literally said, “Sun did not suit Artemis. He did not look well in it. Long hours indoors in front of a computer screen had bleached the glow from his skin. He was white as a vampire and almost as testy in the light of the day.”
      • Butler and Juliet acted ridiculous in the movie, while they were serious and formidable in the book series (although Juliet has always had her moments of poor decision-making).
      • Mulch was a giant dwarf (an oxymoron, I know). In the book, he was just a normal dwarf.
      • Commander Root was cast as a kinder female character, while in the book Commander Root was a male who was in a constant state of irritation, spouting curses continually.
      • Foaly was a prancing centaur with absolutely no interesting lines. In the book, he was the funniest character and was at least respectable.
  • The plot was completely different than the book.
  • An important detail of Irish mythology was messed up in the movie.
    • Hint: Dwarves are a kind of fairy.
  • The directors never should have tried to make a PG Artemis Fowl. Instead, it should have been PG-13 to incorporate more of the important aspects of the book series. The book series was originally intended for young adults.
  • It was an awkward compilation of multiple books.
  • In the books, Holly had nut-brown skin. In the movie, she was white. Instead, they made secondary characters Butler and Juliet black, even though they were Eurasian and white.

Once both the plot and the characters of a story are screwed up, it doesn’t have a chance. I knew that this movie was not going by the books as soon as I saw Artemis on a surfboard, but I had still held out hope that it would be a good movie. Yet it was by straying so far from the beloved characters and amazing storytelling of the Artemis Fowl series that the movie went wrong.

The only part of the movie where it genuinely seemed like Artemis Fowl was acting like he did in the original book series was during the Therapy Session Scene. In that scene, he spoke and acted like the extremely intelligent 12-year-old that he was supposed to be.

It is not good as a standalone movie. For people to understand it, they have to have read the book. Yet it deviates so far from the book that those who have read the books will not enjoy it. At the same time, the movie’s so confusing that people who have not read the book will be turned off by it.

Overall, this is a movie that fans of the original series will hate, and it is unlikely to win over any new fans.

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