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I have watched this film in 3d at a preview screening in London.
First of all, I do not recommend anyone watching this in 3d. It is too dark and the action is just a motion blur. It's dreadful.
As for the film, there is much to enjoy with excellent visual effects, action set pieces (though ruined for me by the 3D) and a couple of stand out characters. But unfortunately there is also much to cringe at in some bouts of terrible dialogue.
The characters of Reepicheep (the kick-ass warrior mouse) and Eustace, (the obnoxious brat cousin) were the most fun with the actor playing Eustace demonstrating excellent comic timing. The relationship between them was funny and touching. And they even brought much needed zest to the action.
But alarmingly, Edmund and Lucy seem to have deteriorated as actors. Some of their emotions are too forced which is a pity. Not sure why, as I would expect them to improve with each film as did the young cast of the Harry Potter movies.
Overall, the story has surprisingly been well adapted considering not a great deal actually happens in the book. But the pacing is good, even though a little episodic. There are much more Christian analogies once again which would please many and irritate others. But I rather like all of the analogies.
I do feel however, that amongst adults, mostly those who enjoyed the Narnia books will enjoy this more than non readers of the books because the story is too bizarre even for a fantasy! But I think most children will enjoy this immensely, regardless if they read the books or not.
With better written dialogue and better handling of the child performances (namely Lucy and Edmund), this could have been a much better film but as its stands its an enjoyable enough entry in this series.
Oh and I will say it again, do not watch this in 3d.
I was SO looking forward to the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and was
The film felt like they took the original story, chopped it up, then threw it in a blender with seven magical swords and some ridiculous green mist!
While the film stayed true to main themes of the story, much of the character development and purpose to each of the minor island stories was lost. Unfortunately this meant that most of the magic of the story was lost as well.
I gave the film 6 stars due to the redeeming qualities that were the stunning visuals, some excellent acting (notably by Will Poulter as Eustace), and a beautifully executed final scene.
If you haven't read the book, then you may enjoy this film immensely, but if you are a true Narnia fan, don't go in with very high expectations.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
An adaptation of a book can't be completely faithful. We all understand
this and accept it: There just isn't space even in a two hour movie to
include everything which happens in an entire novel.
But this travesty wanders so far away from the source material, introducing an unneeded quest for magical swords and a pointless "big bad" invented from whole cloth which adds nothing to the story but merely takes time away from the relevant.
Add in the mysterious change of Reepicheep's voice - what happened? Was Eddie Izzard unavailable for this one? - and the lamentable shift from intelligence to brute force as a solution to, for example, the Lone Islands slavery problem and what we have here is a dreadful movie which completely misses the point of the book.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I felt really disappointed when I saw this film. Sure Ben Barnes was
great eye candy in this movie but other than that there wasn't anything
The book was this adventure story showing the change of Eustace, a self-centered, no-nonsense boy who didn't believe in anything. The movie was a flash from one island to another showing some made up villain in green smoke which was half-fast and not even slightly thought out.
I guess the script writers weren't able to grasp what the story was really about and they thought there had to be some visible villain to fight. The whole book was about Man Vs. Self but by throwing in this green smoke that makes you see what you fear it seemed to take away the realness of how horrible even good people are inside. They really managed to destroy their own movie by making that the center of their story rather than having it be the growing up book it really was.
This film is about the Pevensies and their cousin entering Narnia
again, in order to help Prince Caspian gather all seven swords of the
lords to fight against dark forces.
"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is a good film. It has elements for everyone to enjoy, such as clean humour, excitement, dangers and also psychological elements. The plot is straightforward and easy to understand. It is also filled with excitement, especially the battle with the dragon is quite breathtaking. The plot and the characters engage me a lot. This time, the Pevensies have matured, and hence are a lot less annoying. They even become interesting characters as they battle to overcome their own inadequacies. This subplot is aimed at adults, but it still can be understood by children at face value.
The 3D though, is a lot less thrilling than the film. Most scenes do not have noticeable 3D effects. The scenes that do have 3D are quite underwhelming. There are little scenes in the film that makes use of the 3D technology. I can safely say that watching the 2D version would be just as enjoyable than the 3D version, and you can save a few dollars by doing so.
Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
It has been a few years now and a studio, director, and production team change since we last had a Narnia film but finally the third film in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, has finally come to screen and what can I say? It is well worth your money for you and your entire family to see it. The film is made by 20th Century Fox and Walden Media, directed by Michael Apted, still with actors Ben Barnes as Prince Caspian, Liam Neesan as the voice of Aslan the Lion, Skander Keynes again as Edmund, Georgie Henley as Lucy, with Will Poulter (Son of Rambow) as their cousin Eustace.
The story centers around Edmund and Lucy returning to Narnia this time with their whiny cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian, now King Caspian, onboard the Narnia ship the Dawn Treader. With years of peace enjoyed in Narnia, they are unsure why they are there but soon find themselves on an adventure to battle a mysterious force that threatened Narnia where they face slavers, dragons, temptation, serpents, and learn to become greater than they ever thought they could be. The film follows the plot of the book very well expanding in order to make it flow as a proper story. The additions are perfectly plausible and make the story more cohesive and unlike the changes in Prince Caspian, improve the story. Flowing along quickly, this is by far the shortest in runtime of the series yet also the most powerful and magical, it starts well and ends on a such a high emotional note there are few that will escape unaffected from any screening.
Special effects stand out, with the absence of WETA in the production and special effects I was anxious to see if the new team, actually a fairly large group of small companies, could match what WETA was able to create I am here to tell you YES and in some ways they have surprassed their creations. The dragon and a sea serpent in the film alone are well worth admission, both created with much care and love and really the magic of a fantasy world involved. Other characters from Reepicheep the mouse, a Minotaur, and other creatures are beautiful to behold. The only one that seemed a little down was Aslan who though looking good seems a step down from what WETA created in Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian but the rest is so vivid with color and imagination there is little doubt that it will not just capture the imagination of the young but the entire family and keep them from first shot to last frame.
Music is another powerful entry, the strong Narnia theme running through this film giving it wonder and magic that belongs in this type of film. The strongest song though involves the arrival of a dragon, a piece with great power and a pulse that gives one of the most powerful scenes in the film even greater amazement and magic. Do you want to capture the imagination of a child and your childhood, an escapist film that will be great entertainment for the entire family? THIS IS THAT FILM!
Acting has been hit but this one features better acting and character moments than the other films. With fewer characters than the other two films this one can focus more on the characters and each of the main characters get multiple character building moments that give us greater love and really infuses the film with such emotional power that its hard not to be moved, especially by the climax. Everyone from Edmund to Lucy, to Caspian, to Reepicheep, to Eustace, get powerful scenes that culimate in the strongest ending to a Narnia films and one of the most poignant scenes I have seen in a film in a very long time.
Christians out there, do you fear that the Christian themes are stripped out of this movie? Do not fear, this film is as powerfully religious as it is in magic. All of the religious undertones are not covered but are out in the open for all to see. There is no fear, like what Disney had, when it comes to hitting these themes and the director displays them in all their glory with as much power as C.S. Lewis wrote them to be.
The 3D of the film was fine, it does not detract now does it really add. I believe one would be fine seeing it or not seeing it in 3D, whatever you prefer.
Overall, Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a powerful entry in the fantasy genre, a great film for the entire family, and the type of film that belongs in December and should be watched time and time again by young and old alike! I give this film an 8.5/10.
It's been five years from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"
debuted on theaters. The Pevensies have grown up. The first movie would
see a very young Lucy still with a cute face like a first-grader. In
this movie, she looks like she's in seventh grade or eight grade. Seems
like time flows like Narnian time here.
"Voyage of the Dawn Treader" marks the third film in the Narnia franchise. It follows King Caspian in a journey to find the seven lost lords of Narnia whom King Miraz banished during his reign in the previous film with his ship, the Dawn Treader. On the way, he met Edmund, Lucy and their pathetic cousin, Eustace Scrubb who turned out to have a change in the movie. However, there's this horrifying green mist that can tempt you to do things that can lead up to bad things and the whereabouts of these lost lords are unknown. So, these people take on a journey that passes the beyond the Silver Sea (which must be really somewhere very east) and to the "End of the World". END of the world not those doomsday things.
"Voyage" is actually a very enjoyable film for both kids and adults alike. The adventures were really great and breathtaking and should be a good way to take people's spare time. Its story is understandable for young kids and its characters are enjoyable and fun to befriend with especially the mouse, Reepicheep.
"Voyage" will actually give good laughs to its audience with its jokes especially with the appearance of the Pevensies' coward, pathetic Eustace Scrubb who actually changed ever since he visited Narnia. His actions are the main source of laughs here. His acting also maximized the laughs in this film and I think comedy is what strengthens this movie.
"Voyage" is also powerful in exciting action scenes. This is what seems to be lacking in the previous films even in the climax where it doesn't seem that exciting. "Voyage's" climax is very exciting and deserves to be called a climax. The setting of the scene was well-suited and the scene was shot beautifully. Definitely awesome. But, this movie is quite dark for very young children especially in the climax part. It has grown quite scarier than the previous ones.
"Voyage" also has a new director allowing the series to turn into a quite different style of film. While the previous ones were really too childish, this third one puts on several scenes to attract an older audience. Michael Apted replacing Andrew Adamson is definitely an advance in the Narnia film series.
However, Narnian fans will miss Peter and Susan Pevensie as they would not return as main characters but rather just as cameos. The reason in the story why they didn't return is that they're now too old to return to Narnia. This movie will only see two Pevensies plus their cousin, Eustace Scrubb. What a pity.
The 3D effects of the film were actually acceptable. They are actually quite conspicuous and are good. 3D or 2D would be OK in watching this movie.
You might notice that the Pevensies have grown a lot over the five years gap between the first film and this third film. Compared to the Harry Potter series which had a 3-year gap between the first and third film, Narnia had a longer gap. As it is also a seven-book series, I'm quite worried how it will end up in the final film(even though some of the installments don't include the Pevensies). Let's just hope they have no problem encountering this situation.
About its loyalty to the book, the movie did have some changes and some of them are quite major, QUITE not REALLY (be careful). The arrangement of scenes were also ordered in a new way. In the middle of the book starting to the end, that's where the movie's change was big. But, for me, it was acceptable and let's hope that it's acceptable for other fans of the book.
"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" (what a long title it is) is absolutely a must-watch film for this holiday season and is very suitable for Christmas. Rather than watching some bloody films people, merry up and rather watch something appropriate for Christmas and in 3D if you prefer. It's definitely great and perfect for families to watch.
Prince AJB's Score: 9/10 (90%)
Thanks for reading my review and hope it's useful.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really hope people read this and wait to watch this movie until they
can rent it for $1 at redbox. It was awful. Many people have already
discussed the primary problems with the film via their *spoiler*
reviews... but I have to add my vote in a negative direction.
They took the islands out of order. Eustace didn't even try to remove his own dragon skin. They ruined several of the lords. They MADE UP crap about a sword and "dark mist". Ramandu wasn't even on his island (thus missing my second favorite part of the book about him growing younger). Lucy just pulled Eustaces bracelet off when it's not supposed to come off easily. The dufflepuds didn't learn how to paddle on their foot... and so many more disappointments.
Failure on the part of the producers. Eustace and Reepicheep were the best parts of the movie (really it's only redeeming quality). I honestly almost left after staying up until midnight and paying $14 to see it in 3d.
If they make the next movie... please let them consult a Lewis expert. These books are classics and favorites for a reason. It is so vain to think they can "fix" them. Grrr.
It's been an overdose of fantasy for me in the last few days I guess.
First, in anticipation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I,
I watched all the previous ones at a stretch. For this, I had to do a
similar thing. Else how would it make any sense ??? The Narnia series,
it seems, is shaping up to be the replacement of the Harry Potter
series. We all know that Harry Potter is gonna be done with by the next
year. That will leave us with the Narnia series, and with four more
movies to go, I suppose that's gonna last a long while till another
fantasy movie series pops up.
The movie begins with the Pevensies being transported to Narnia "least when they expected". This time, they have their cousin Eustace with them who takes some time to accepting the Narnian world filled with talking creatures and other such wonders. He reacts similar to how the Pevensies did when they first saw Narnia, only he's more scared than surprised. Since they've landed in Narnia unexpectedly, there has to be a reason for it. And there is, and a supposedly good one - one which will not only test their battling skills what with dragons, serpents and storms on the way, but also bring them face to face with their inner demons and fears.
As far as the similarity of the movie's plot with the book goes, I frankly admit to having no idea regarding that. I've viewed the movie as a movie, as a sequel to the first two and as such, won't be able to comment on how well the movie follows the plot of the book. On the surface of it however, the plot is fairly basic but filled with too many characters to confuse someone who isn't familiar with the books. All the cast members perform well though the star of the show has to be Reepicheep the mouse - he is so endearing that you'd often find yourself rooting for him. And then again there's Aslan the Lion who, in my opinion, is the best (CGI) wonder ever created in the Narnian movie universe. His mere presence in a frame makes it stand out. He appears responsible, wise, calm and like a father figure to the Pevensies and others - the character is so greatly conceived that his mere sight makes you respect him. He truly has the aura of a king and rightfully deserves to be one. And Liam Neeson does a fabulous job of voicing him as do the animators on making him appear life-like. And when the soft and soothing background score plays in the background during his presence, you're bound to feel a lump in your throat. You'll definitely hear a child scream "Aslan" in the movie theater when he first arrives.
Visually, the film is simply outstanding. Such is the richness of the effects that it makes me wonder how on earth can the film be made on a budget of "just" $140 million. I mean, the amount of visual effects present in the film and the quality of each shot is simply brilliant - from the dragon to the serpent to the wide shots of The Dawn Treader to the Islands to the waves to Reepicheep the mouse and finally, the great Aslan. Lighting, it seems has improved to the point that it is difficult to tell what is CGI and what is real. The main musical themes have been recycled from the past films which is a great thing since those themes were simply heart touching, especially Aslan's. The set design is also good although as mentioned, it is hard to distinguish between real and digital sets.
Like many movies with excessive VFX, the movie tends to give a slightly more focus to the effects (maybe because it is a children centric film). Although made for children, adults shouldn't find this a reason to stay away from the movie. The movie might tend to get a bit boring at times. And the biggest drawback of the movie is the 3-D which, quite simply, is as good as not there. By all means, you'd be better saving some bucks and watching the movie in 2-D; it might as well also save you a headache. As a matter of fact, the commercial shown during my movie screening had better 3-D that that found in this movie. Despite its drawbacks, it is a good movie and can make for a good viewing with / without family. If not for anything else, I recommend it, For Aslan !!!
Score: 6.5 / 10
Perhaps the most moralistic of C.S. Lewis' Narnia novels would be 'The
Voyage of the Dawn Treader', which is episodic in style with the Dawn
Treader's aimless journey through Narnian seas. Michael Apted takes the
helm of direction and brings this adventure to us in 3D; the first for
Susan and Peter (King & Queen) have grown up now and reside in America where Narnia has no access. The teenagers Lucy (Georgie Hensley) and Edmund (Skander Keynes) who are in Britain in the midst of WW2, along with their unnerving cousin Eustace (Will Poulter) catch the moving waters in a painting in their room. Soon, the water flows into the room and in a spectacular fashion, they are underwater, only to be pulled up by Prince Caspian in front of the hull of the Dawn Treader. Welcome to Narnia! The trio are briefly introduced to the ship's crew that include the swashbuckling mouse Reepicheep and a Narnian buffalo sailor. Their initial inquiry about Narnia's state of affairs and the Dawn Treader's voyage reveal the book and film's weakness - Prince Caspian admits that there are no problems in Narnia. Peace rules the lands and barring the exploration of the farthest stretches of the waters where Aslan's country mythically exists, the ship has little to do on its voyage. Thus, they decide to go island hopping where, just on the first one, they are taken as prisoners and almost sold as slaves until a heroic rescue by the crew saves the day. It is within the walls of the prison that Prince and Edmund find out about the 7 missing lords and their magical swords. Oh and there's a LOST like smoke monster that devours boats full of slaves.
The most striking aspect about 'The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader' is that it lacks the mystery, build up and joy of discovery of the first movie. At the same time, it eliminates the excessive CGI and Lord of the Rings inspired battle sequences from the second installment and thus proves to be a closer- to- book adaptation. The focus is on retaining Narnia's adventures as an escape for children with funny bits that are memorable especially the endless picking of Eustace by the witty Reepicheep and the monopodial dwarfs on the island. Deeper into the story's entertaining layers, Evil tempts the protagonists in different ways and overcoming the lure is the didactic experience of C.S. Lewis' edition that is well captured by Michael Apted. Lucy's battle against her temptation to be as beautiful as her sister, Edmund's envy of Prince Caspian's position as the leader and Eustace's greed that draws him to hidden treasures are all lessons to be learnt in the battle of good v/s evil. On one hand, the white witch tempts Edmund to join the evil forces while Aslan, in his Christ like rendition guides Lucy on the right path.
The special effects involving the sea serpent in the cove are excellent and provide an ugly yet thrilling experience in 3D while the magical touches through the book of incarnations and entry to Aslan's country are simply enchanting to look at. Discovery of the 7 lords and their swords is itself a moral journey for everyone and while C.S. Lewis did brilliantly in detailing those aspects, Apted is short of time and just like all Narnian films, this one too falls short of the book's magical effect. But then again, Michael Apted is no Peter Jackson.
The climax is a sad farewell to what we were introduced to just 2 movies ago but The Silver Chair may prove to be an altogether different experience with Eustace. Will Poulter's brilliantly convincing portrayal of the annoying kid is the highlight of the film and the focus on him is a well thought out plan for the upcoming movies. Georgie Hensley IS Lucy as C.S. Lewis had once imagined and therefore, her presence is always charming. The rest of the cast could've done better with more focus on their characters had it not been for the time constraint; which, Apted has wisely been strict about. The shortest of the 3 films, yet least action packed, 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' betters its predecessor by being closer to the book with moral implications and child-like adventures. The film is beautiful to look at but it leaves you craving for more fun, more adventure and sometimes, more heroism. It is by no means uplifting and we do miss Aslan in action at the required times. This is Aslan's shortest time on screen and that is a tragedy for the film indeed. Nevertheless, for loyal fans of Narnia, this is purely Narnian in essence but not an epic by motion picture standards.
- 7.033 on a scale of 1-10.
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