The Greatest Showman had to grow on me. From the very first trailer, I wasn't sold. Even the second trailer didn't make me confident in seeing the movie. That whole process mirrors my experience watching the movie itself.
The movie starts off with some cringy lines from child actors that are off-putting. When the movie transitions to Hugh Jackman's character as an adult it immediately improves. But then the movie continues to make really easy choices when it comes to the storytelling. It takes the easy way out, rushing through what would seem like important plot points. It likes to skip through hardship that the characters take and focus on the positive. For all the talk about inclusion and overcoming prejudice, it doesn't really portray the hill to climb.
If you take the constant head scratching that is the story and ignore it, the movie is nice on the eyes. It's colorful and full of life with some great vibrancy in colors. The soundtrack, since this is a musical, is actually really good. I love to listen to the music thinking about the scenes in which they were used in the movie. That being said, the musical numbers are not that magical in the movie itself. Some are, but most don't portray the magic that you feel listening to the music by itself. Pretty much every song is used in the movie as a tool to create positivity. This means that whenever you feel like some emotional depth might actually happen in the movie, it is picked up by a musical number.
The standouts from the movie are obviously Hugh Jackman but also Zendaya. Jackman is a no-brainer because he is great in everything he does, while Zendaya is a genuine surprise. This is due to the fact that she is barely in the movie but still makes a strong impression. I was not familiar with her before this year's Spider-Man: Homecoming, but now hope she is in a lot more movies. Zac Efron proves he can still sing but still can't prove to me he has range in acting.
Overall the movie was pleasant enough. It's pretty enough to look at and has some really great music. I am happy that the movie came out solely for the soundtrack. At the beginning of the movie, Jackman and the director come on screen and thank you for coming to a theater to see the movie, but you could rent this at home in a few months time.