It’s easy to get lost in this movie for the initial stretch because of the gorgeous world-building and visuals. There’s a barrage of heightened, fantasy imagery shot like grotesque pastels. It’s a storybook reality and one of the best I’ve seen realised for a while. I mean, who doesn’t want to see Salma Hayek eat the heart of a sea monster? Sadly that only takes you so far and before long Tale of Tales just becomes a modern rendition of familiar fairy tale riffs that is really nice to look at. That being said, even the beauty begins to feel vacuous after a while. The performances are fun (you go Toby Jones!) but I just became increasingly bored as time ticked by and was pretty thankful once the 2 hour, 10 minute running time was up. Maybe I’ll be more receptive upon rewatch but I can’t see me going back for round two any time soon. Beautifully made and creatively cast but disappointingly middling on the whole.