Friday, December 10, 2010

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

I’m going to try to be brief on this one, since it already stole two hours of my life.  This is the third film in the Chronicles of Narnia series, based on the popular fantasy book series by C.S. Lewis.  Lewis wrote 7 books between 1949 and 1954.  As a child I was a huge fan of the first one, ‘The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe’.  When the movie based on that book came out in 2005 I was very excited, but after seeing it I was more than a little disappointed.  I love fantasy films, like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, and I already loved this particular story, so how could it not be great?  And yet, it wasn’t.  And, sadly, the second and third films got successively worse.  My expectations were quite low on this third outing, I assure you, and yet it managed to fall short of that very low bar I set.  So where do I begin?
The cast?  I don’t like the cast at all.  The kids don’t hold a candle to the Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint trio in the Harry Potter series.  And the only name players in the supporting cast are the voice of Aslan provided by Liam Neeson, and a bit part by Tilda Swinton as The White Witch.  That is just incomparable to the who’s who of brilliant British character actors we get in the world of Harry Potter.  This is night and day.
The story?  To be honest, I had trouble following it.  Perhaps out of boredom.  I think I was pondering what I was going to eat afterwards.  But to me it just seemed like a bunch of boring action scenes and special effects pulled together by a very thin plot.
The special effects?  Not bad.  There was a fairly cool dragon that I enjoyed.  Yup, that’s about it.
The music?  Not great.  The first two were scored by Harry Gregson-Williams, who composed a decent theme.  This one, by David Arnold, a composer I’m not familiar with, was disappointing.  And the orchestral music in a fantasy film is of major importance to me.   Paging John Williams and Howard Shore!
The venue?  The Rave.  Never a fun place to see a movie.  And this particular movie was out of focus for the entire length of the film!  Outrageous.  At one point I was waxing nostalgic about a screening I had in the same theater of ‘Prince of Persia’.  And that was pretty, pretty, pretty bad.
To be fair, I should mention that it seemed like the people around me were enjoying themselves.  So, some people will like this movie.  And you know who you are.  (I’m not judging.)  But I was happy when it was over.  I didn’t even stay through the end credits, and anyone who knows me knows that’s a ritual I don’t easily give up.  ‘Nuff said.
Grade:  D

1 comment:

  1. Woohoo! A D! But I'm usually a sucker for this type of movie and found the first one to be entertaining.