Labyrinth (1986)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Labyrinth</strong> (1986)

(On DVD, May 2010) Watching this film today is, in many ways, an exercise in nostalgia: As big-budget pre-CGI fantasy filmmaking, it visibly shows its age and the presence of puppets as creatures is a conceit that probably wouldn’t be allowed to go forward given today’s special effects technology.  So watching Labyrinth is, apart from seeing a young Jennifer Connelly in a first starring role, also a game of effect-spotting.  Fortunately, the story is strong enough to sustain scrutiny on its creakiest effects: As a fairy tale, it’s still strong and interesting after nearly a quarter-century.  What doesn’t work as well is the unwieldy mixture of scares and thrills in a film aimed to the younger set, as well as a few musical numbers and comic set-pieces that drag down the story for a while.  Still, Labyrinth’s not such a bad viewing experience, and seeing David Bowie in full goblin-prince attire is enough to compensate for a whole lot of other issues.

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