Reviewer’s grade: D+
Trailing in the long, settling wake of “The Lord of the Rings” and the “Harry Potter” series’ success, “Stardust” is a magical fantasy about Tristran (Charlie Cox), a young man on a quest for True Love. On the way he meets ill-tempered fallen star Yvaine (bleach-blonde creepazoid Claire Danes), who is being pursued by evil witch Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) and a cadre of murderous princes, all of whom want Yvain for their own purposes.
Built from a blurry template of “The Princess Bride,” “Stardust” tries too hard to endear itself to the adults in the audience with what director Matthew Vaughn seems to think is sophisticated, tongue-in-cheek wit “ an attempt that falls flat. Instead, we get a movie that contains neither childlike wonder nor grownup sophistication, but a childish infatuation with its own supposed cleverness.
Throw in the sad mishandling of good actors like Robert De Niro, Ian McKellen, Peter O’Toole, Rupert Everett and a limping, pointless cameo from “The Office” creator Ricky Gervais, and “Stardust” lives up to the definition of its title: a sparkly bunch of dirt. PG-13