Artemis Fowl (2020)

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Yeah, "fowl" is right!

Artemis Fowl II is the titular main protagonist of the Artemis Fowl book series. He starts out as a villain and serves as the protagonist villain of the first book, he gets redemption throughout the series.

This article will focuse on his film representation from the 2020 "adaptation" of the same name where he's portrayed by Ferdia Shaw.

Why He's a Fowl

Note: This will only apply to the 2020 film version of the title character. His literature counterpart is fine.

  1. Like the rest of the characters in this movie, we never get to care about him since the movie never shows us why we should care and just tells us who he is expecting us to just know.
  2. He's meant to be portrayed as a child prodigy and mastermind like in the original books -- and the movie constantly gives their phrases to him, including the opening -- but we never actually see any of those claims backed up. As a result, when we see him acting cocky and arrogant to various people, it just makes the audience dislike him, and him come across as a Gary Stu.
    • The closest we get to see to his genius at the beginning was when we see his incredible surfing skills at the opening, and even that has little-to-no connection with any prodigy skills. Then, 20 minutes in we finally get to see it again when he's searching for his late father's journal... which involves remembering the poem his father told him every night before bed, and assuming it was a clue for the journal. Child prodigy right there! (Sarcasm)
    • Also the rest of the time, he just makes crazily detailed plans just because he sees pictures and gives away information he has no way of knowing about.
  3. He's completely unfaithful to the character from the original novels. To name a few pointers:
    • This version is purely heroic and unaware of the fairy world or his family's involvement in crime rather than the villain protagonist and deliberate kidnapper of a fairy (who would later go through redemption) he was in the books.
    • Early on in the film, Artemis goes surfing, even though very first page of the first book, specifically said "Sun did not suit Artemis", not to mention his lack of physical strength became a running gag throughout the series. Man, it's like they weren't even trying to follow the books!
    • Artemis is being raised by his father, whereas in the books his father is gone and he lives with his mentally ill mother — something that drives the majority of the plot of the first and second books!
    • Movie Artemis also wears jeans in one scene, something Book Artemis swore he would never do, and despised even thinking about it.
    • He's far more emotional than in the book reacting to getting the news about his father by screaming, dropping a jug of milk and needing to be physically carried away from the television.
  4. The changes may have been forgivable if the character had a personality, but... he doesn't. He's just your generic protagonist within the completely unoriginal script.
    1. Also, director Kenneth Branagh made the changes because he didn't think audiences could handle a 12-year-old villainous character. He's seriously that afraid to take risks?
  5. On top of trying to be more heroic than his literature counterpart, he's not even good at it. As he still does several questionable acts that resemble book Fowl, making it unclear if it's trying to be its own thing or if they're following the books. Because it fails at both.
  6. Ferdia Shaw did a really poor job at playing him.

The Only Redeeming Quality

  1. The clothes he wears are the only thing faithful to the book.