I’m torn about this film. I like the idea of this film more than I like the actual film.
Typically, I’m a fan of Dickens adaptations. The books — not so much. They’re kind of a chore to read, even though they’re really dense and richly textured. But the films, they usually pare that stuff down and that makes the story always engaging. And “Oliver Twist” (along with “Great Expectations”) always seems to be the Dickens work that most easily translates into a good film. So Disney, doing it with cats and dogs on the streets of New York — all right. I’m there. Because hey — when they have source material to work with, it usually turns out okay.
But this film — it’s not there. I like parts of it, but the whole thing just feels very rushed. It speeds along with nothing really happening. To the point where it not only doesn’t resemble “Oliver Twist” but doesn’t really resemble much of anything. It’s like they decided to cut out ten minutes of characterization in favor of a shorter runtime. And the result is a complete misfire of a film that has nothing but good intentions. Which is a shame. They could have had something here.