Hugh Jackman portrayed P.T. Barnum as he gathered people of all oddities in one magnificent show. He was joined by a talented cast including Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, and Zendaya.
Let's get right to it. The story sounds like a great idea on paper but something went very wrong in translation to the screen. The plot felt thin and relatively boring. It felt a lot like somebody decided that if you just put a bunch of talented people together with a fantastic soundtrack, then the story doesn't even matter.
On the upside, this movie had two excellent things in its favor: Hugh Jackman and an amazing soundtrack. Jackman is easily one of the greatest in the business. To me, he is by far the most talented entertainer whether it be upbeat and fun or dark and gritty. In this film, he did the very best that could be done with a weak character. Never in the movie did I feel that he was truly going through any change. Yes, you could argue that his character had a full arc but it never gave me enough to genuinely feel for him. This was a common theme with most other characters (especially a certain romance in the film that felt horribly forced). Such a great cast deserved a better treatment than this.
The soundtrack, as I mentioned, was incredible. These elite entertainers kept my attention only with the fantastic music. What I love about musicals is when the songs are not only well written and catchy, but when they have a greater value with your attachment to the story or characters. The Greatest Showman, unfortunately, only provided one of those aspects. For that reason I believe that it would have made a better CD than a movie.
Overall, this is not a film that anybody should be in a hurry to see. Suffering from the plague of a poor story and lack of attachment to any characters, The Greatest Showman was very disappointing. Great music and Hugh Jackman make it just good enough for me to give it a barely positive rating.
I give 'The Greatest Showman' a 5.6/10