Movie Review: Water for Elephants (2011)

From Team Edward, Robert Pattinson moves to Team Jacob.

Pattinson plays Jacob Jankowski in Water for Elephants, a period drama set in the 1930's in the backdrop of America's Golden Age of Circuses. Jacob is a Cornell University dropout who serendipitously joins the circus to escape poverty. In his new home, he learns the ropes of the business and meets a slew of interesting characters.

Two characters that make an impact in Jacob's life is Marlena (Reese Witherspoon) and her husband August (Christoph Waltz), the circus' ring leader. August takes Jacob under his wing, but soon alienates Jacob because of his violent ways. Marlena soon becomes Jacob's love interest, but how can the two have a happy ending in the dog-eat-dog world of the circus with August in the picture?

I'm glad to see Robert Pattinson ditch the silly pale make-up of Twilight and take on a project that extends his range. He did an admirable job to attempt to carry the film, but was a mismatch with the much older Reese Witherspoon. Christoph Waltz played great as the mentor-tormentor of Jacob, and I'm seeing him as the worthy successor to Alan Rickman (of Harry Potter fame). But despite the acting in the film, it eventually is doomed by the very slow pace and lack of tension.

Water for Elephants is a safe drama that is high on spectacle but low in sparks.

Rating: 3/5