As You Like It review

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Kenneth Branagh continues to work his way through Shakespeare’s CV with this unremarkable take on the Bard’s cross-dressing comedy, ostentatiously relocated to 19th-century Japan though wholly shot in the Home Counties. Ken’s conceit is to set the story in one of the Westerner enclaves that sprung up around that country’s treaty ports. Beyond an opening ninja raid and a bit of sumo, however, any Oriental flavour seems purely incidental – and this impression is underscored when the action moves to the Forest of Arden, looking much like a wood on any continent. Meanwhile, Branagh’s vision doesn’t stretch to broadening his choice of cast beyond the usual mix of homegrown hams (Brian Blessed, Richard Briers) and credibility-hungry Yanks (Bryce Dallas Howard as a spunky Rosalind, Kevin Kline’s melancholy Jaques).

More info

Available platformsMovie

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, New Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Jack Shepherd. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.