The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

  • Keira KnightleyMackenzie Foy...
  • Action & AdventureFantasy
  • Joe JohnstonLasse Hallstrom
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Cairo 360
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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: Hollow

There is a myth among children that the candy with the prettiest wrapper tastes the worst. This applies to the deceivingly dazzling The Nutcracker and the Four Realms; a hollow shell of a wrapper with no candy inside.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms follows a brainy Clara (Mackenzie Foy) who is forced to go to a Christmas Eve ball by her father in an attempt to keep up appearances after the recent death of Clara’s mother. Before they head to the ball, Clara’s father gives her, and her siblings, gifts that their mother had left for him to give to them on Christmas Eve, and Clara got a mysterious egg-shaped box with a keyhole but no key. So, Clara seeks out her godfather, Drosselmeyer, to ask about the key and he magically transports her to a new world that her mother had once discovered. In the new world, Clara discovers her mother used to be queen. There are four realms in this new world: sweets, flowers, snowflakes, and ginger realms, and there is a war going on. Clara teams up with a nutcracker soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight) to find her key, and is warned by the sweets realm ruler, Sugar Plum (Keira Knightly), about the fourth realm, ruled by evil Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren). On a quest to find her key – but now in the middle of a war – what is Clara to do?

If you think this is the holiday film you have been longing for, think again.

The film is a Frankenstein with organs from Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Chronicles of Narnia (2005), The Wizard of Oz (1939), and many more features we have all known and loved. The film has no personality of its own and only mimics other films and stitches them together.

There is also a major issue with the plot flow; the first act is a lot longer than it should be, leaving audiences bored, while the second act is short, turbulent, and rushed. It took Clara almost half the film to actually get to the conflict, and when she did the conflict just seemed disappointing.

One of the film’s few advantages is its dazzling and magically detailed setting, which is shamefully wasted on the messy plot and the copycat concept.

As for the acting, Mackenzie Foy puts on an adequate performance, which does the job but does not necessarily do it with personality or with any aspect that would be remembered by audiences when the film is over. Jayden Fowora-Knight was able to deliver a memorable performance and add personality to his character, even if his role is boiled down to a minimum. Helen Mirren’s role limited her performance and stunted her marvellous talent. Keira Knightly delivered the most brilliant performance in the film, with the role surprisingly fitting her.

Don’t expect much of this film and then, and only then, maybe you might not hate it.

Like This? Try

Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Chronicles of Narnia (2005), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Anna Karenina (2012).

360 Tip

The music was adapted in part from Tschaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite from 1892 by James Newton Howard, updating the original and adding new tracks as well. 

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