MOVIE REVIEW: Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader
Quite the spectacle
I never saw the previous Chronicles of Narnia films.
As an adult, a lot of those kids movies you don’t rush out to see.
(I did enjoy the Chronic of Narnia song by Saturday Night Live)
It’s very rare that a sci-fi adventure blows you away the way The Princess Bride did. I am glad that this movie was more enjoyable than the last Harry Potter film (a few of the themes were similar, too).
It was also nice that you don’t need to see the previous films to follow along.
It’s a C.S. Lewis story, that was tweaked by three screenwriters. Often times, when more than one person is credited with writing a script, it’s a bad sign. For an ambitious picture like this, I don’t fault them.
The story is about Lucy and Edmund Pevensie, who return to Narnia with their bratty cousin Eustace, through a painting on the wall. It’s the best use of a painting in film since What Dreams May Come.
They hook up with Prince Caspian aboard a ship (Dawn Treader), that has to search for “seven missing lords.” Or at least – the swords they used. Putting them together on a table helps end the evil that is billowing out in a green mist at Evil Island (you think one of those three writers could’ve been a little more clever with that name).
And why is the island so evil? Well, they kidnap people, have creatures that will attack you, and the mist can become any creature you fear most (for some that might be an evil clown; unfortunately, Edmund fears huge sea serpents).
That’s always a great gimmick in movies. I loved how that happened in the Dennis Quaid movie Dreamscape in the early 80s (an evil character turns into something that is half cobra).
There are some subtle themes that will go over the little kids heads – like that human nature making one greedy can have consequences.
Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz, Star Trek) is funny as the small mouse, with a toothpick sized sword.
Liam Neeson is distracting, and I didn’t care for him as the voice of the lion. It’s odd, because if you were to ask me what actor in Hollywood looks most like a lion, I might pick Neeson.
The movie’s in 3D. What isn’t these days?
And don’t be fooled by the PG rating. It’s a fun fable for the entire family (they should put that line on the movie poster!)
The story and dialogue might be weak, but the spectacle isn’t.
I’m giving it a C+.