Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader; Movie Review

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader; Movie Review

The Chronicles of Narnia - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Rating: 5/10
Cast: Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley, Will Poulter
Director: Michael Apted
In this latest Narnia film, which has taken a while to arrive on the big screen following Disney's decision to leave the franchise behind, it's back to the land of Narnia for the Pevensie siblings, Edmund and Lucy (Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley).
Via a portrait of a ship on the sea, the duo - along with pesky cousin Eustace (Son of Rambow's Will Poulter) - are pulled back into the world and straight onto the ship, the Dawn Treader - and its quest.
Under the helmship of King Caspian (Ben Barnes), the gang are trying to locate the seven Lords and their seven swords to try and banish evil from Narnia.
But as all of them fall deeper into the quest, their faith and resolve are tested by the dark forces at play in Narnia.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a film which feels like it's from another time in many ways.
It's a very traditional family piece which will appeal to the younger end of the market - and certainly the kids in the audience with whom I saw the film were entranced by certain parts and the antics of animated, swash buckling mouse Reepicheep (voiced by Simon Pegg) as well as by Will Poulter's terribly annoying Eustace.
There's swashbuckling aplenty at any given moment in this - any excuse to take out swords and have a bit of a fight; unfortunately that leads to the film feeling a tad repetitive throughout as it negotiates "the fight, get captured, escape plot" running through.
Complete with comments such as "Evil has the upper hand", the film misfires a little and doesn't fully engage a wider audience. The kids do a reasonable job of giving their characters some life - and the majority of the laughs go to stuck up Eustace and Reepicheep, but there's little to keep the older section of the audience feeling like they're watching something new here.
That said, there are some pretty impressive effects; the scene where the water comes gushing out of the picture and brings the kids back to Narnia is well done - and the evil green mist floating around adds a layer of much needed menace.

Sure, there's messages in there about faith, being true to yourself and dealing with temptations (which some will understand more than others) but the unspectacular Voyage of the Dawn Treader treads dangerously into the territory of Voyage of the Yawn Treader.

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