By Chris Nashawaty
June 19, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT
Elsa Guillet-Chapuis

The pairing looks odd on paper: the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Shakespeare. But there’s something both daring and delightfully daffy about Joss Whedon’s modern riff on one of the Bard’s most beloved comedies. Filmed in black and white in Whedon’s L.A. home over 12 days, Much Ado About Nothing is a labor of love for a guy whose ambitions extend beyond billion-dollar Avengers installments. With nary a codpiece or tesseract in sight, this roundelay of romantic intrigue and wicked wordplay (faithfully delivered in verse) is the tale of two couples: the young lovers Claudio (Fran Kranz) and Hero (Jillian Morgese), who are nearly kept apart by scheming rivals, and the jaded Benedick (Alexis Denisof) and Beatrice (Amy Acker), fools tricked into confessing their love. The film isn’t as fast and funny as it could be, although Nathan Fillion’s easily offended constable injects some sorely needed comic relief. Still, give Whedon credit for trying to expose his Comic-Con fan base to a different kind of Hero. B

  • Stage
  • 06/16/14
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