Much Ado About Nothing (2013)

Remember Joss Whedon? He’s a little known director who only made the third highest grossing movie of all time, THE AVENGERS! Yeah, he’s that guy! After making The Avengers, you’d expect him to make another big-budget action flick that blew your mind. Not this time though. Whedon took the opposite route and made a wonderful modernized adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”.

The most interesting thing (for me) about this film, is the fact that Whedon not only assembles his cast from other T.V Shows and Movies he’s directed, but also, he apparently has his friends over for Shakespeare night quite often. Only this time, they decided t turn their backyard fun into a fantastic film! You may or may not know the play because you saw Kenneth Branagh’s more traditional film version of this play in 1993. His version is amazing and has a cast that really knocks it out of the park. To rival that film version, your film had better be top-notch with a cast that can hold their own against the likes of Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, and Denzel Washington (to name a few).

Fortunately for Whedon, his film and cast did just that! This new modernized adaptation doesn’t stretch its modern-day feel. The attire is modern, the setting is modern, and that’s about it (there are a couple of phones here and there, but nothing major). The film is also in black and white, which I actually really liked. Oh, and the film was shot in 12 days at Whedon’s house… 12 DAYS! For a 12 day movie, it looks and sounds really, really good! Joss Whedon and his brother put together the score and took care of most things. For such a smaller film (compared to The Avengers), Whedon does a fantastic job.

As far as the story goes for Much Ado About Nothing, we primarily focus on Signor Benedick (Alexis Denisof) and Lady Beatrice (Amy Acker), two very witty opposites that have the potential for love, if they could get over their witty, flirtatious banter. We also follow young Claudio (Fran Kranz) as he attempts to make fair Hero (Jillian Morgese) his wife. Aided by the help of Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) and Signior Leonato (Clark Gregg), Claudio and Hero set about to get Benedick and Beatrice to wed, despite their stubborn attitudes. All goes awry, however, when Don John (Sean Maher), the bastard brother of Don Pedro, interferes with Claudio and Hero’s marriage plans. As all Shakespearean works entail, trouble ensues and we meet Dogberry (Nathan Fillion), a constable, who will try to set things right, despite his stupidity. All in all, we get Shakespeare’s funniest play in an incredible, modernized retelling. Before I continue babbling, here are my Top Ten Thoughts on Joss Whedon’s, Much Ado About Nothing!

 

Those silly Americans… Thinking that a little bit of Black and White and a nice house can top British brilliance… Those are some nice suits though… And, did you hear that The Avengers guy made this?

WHAT I ENJOYED

WHAT I ENJOYED ALSO

The play itself is a masterpiece (Shakespeare at his finest) and Whedon directs it as so.

The modernization of the play is really great! It’s not too modern, but enough so that you can relate to the setting.

The black-and-white look contrasts well with the modernized feel.

For being shot in 12 days, the editing on this film is also really great! Whedon never ceases to amaze with this fantastic film!

This is a near perfect film for one that was shot in 12 DAYS!…. 12!

The translation of Shakespearean speak to modern settings was fun to watch! Some words or sentences took whole new meanings.

The cast in this film is just phenomenal! Great to see Whedon incorporate his Movie/TV regulars in this.

The soundtrack for this film is wonderful! It being composed by Joss Whedon and his brother, Jed, is even better! The song “Sigh No More” is just beautiful.

I dare say that Amy Acker is Oscar-Worthy as Lady Beatrice! She steals every scene she is in and certainly does Emma Thompson justice.

There is really never a dull moment in this film. Each scene serves its’ purpose well and you’ll always find yourself engaged in what’s happening.

Alexis Denisof is a perfect Benedick! He’s hilarious and completely convincing. He and Acker work incredibly well together!

The scenery in this film, or Joss Whedon’s house, is beautiful. It’s neat getting to explore his incredible home and he has a very cool infinity pool! His home offers items that are incorporated well into the movie and cast interaction.

Reed Diamond is an amazing Don Pedro. He is cool and suave, while also being stern and loyal to his friends. He needs to be in more movies!

Given that Kenneth Branagh’s “Much Ado About Nothing” in 1993 is simply amazing, this modernized adaptation fairs very well against it.

Fran Kranz was a really great Claudio. His loving emotions shone through and he played the part wonderfully.

This is the most enjoyable film I’ve seen all year. It’s not overdone, over-hyped, overextended, or overly-complicated. It’s just an amazing time at the movies.

Nathan Fillion was hilarious (as per the usual). Every time he came on he had me laughing! His presence is fantastic and he has a way with pleasing the audience.

This film has moved from a limited release to a lot more theaters! You still might have to drive 20 miles to see it, but trust me, it’s well worth the time and effort!

As you can tell, I loved the cast! Their interactions seemed very genuine and their delivery and actions of Shakespearean dialog are fantastic!

Both times I watched this film, the audience was more engaged with the film than any other movie I’ve seen. They would clap and cheer for certain scenes, and it was really nice to see them respond so positively to a film. I think that speaks a lot about this film and how great it is.

Overall:

This film is non-stop entertainment from the get-go. I loved that Whedon keeps the dialog the same and has the cast interpret it in new ways. If you’re not a fan of Shakespearean speak, it may take some getting used to in the theater. Regardless of your approval/disapproval of the language, after you leave this movie you’ll get why Shakespeare is considered the best writer of all time. The dialog in this film is phenomenal and it blows most comedies straight out of the water. Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof play off of one another so well in this film and that makes it even better. Now that I’ve seen it twice, it only solidified my feeling that this is the most enjoyable movie I’ve seen all year, even more-so. Much Ado About Nothing is now playing in more theaters, so I suggest you go see it before you miss out on a simply magnificent film!

Much Ado About Nothing Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAMsDP_DMHE

4.5 STARS!!!

4.5 / 5 stars     

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