reviewthat: (Movies: Don't Judge a Book By Its Movie)
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Movie: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Starring: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Will Poulter, Ben Barnes, and Simon Pegg.
Released Nationwide: December 10, 2010
DVD Released: April 8, 2011
Stars: 3 1/2

Based on the C.S. Lewis book of the same name, this is the story of what happens when Lucy and Edmund return to Narnia for the third, and final time. Along with them comes their cousin Eustace, who is convinced in the beginning that he has been kidnapped by crazy people. The children meet up with Caspian as soon as they arrive, and set out on a quest to reclaim seven swords that have been blessed by Aslan.

I enjoyed this movie far more than I thought that I would, considering that this film is based on one of the Narnia books that I don't find to be overly enjoyable. Even as a kid (and even as a kid who loved to read), I found most of the Narnia books to be a bit boring and hard to get through. This book was no exception to that. And even going back to it as an adult, I still find it to be a bit tedious. But what the film makers have done, is to take all of the most exciting parts of the book and to make those the basis for the movie (for which, they will get no complaints from me).

The effects were wonderful, most especially when they transitioned between one actress and another. There is a part in both book and movie where Lucy comes across a spell that makes her look like the person that she thinks is the most beautiful in the world. In this case, she thinks that person is her older sister Susan. The FX people did an outstanding job of making Lucy's reflection become Susan's, making the one turn into the other rather subtly (so that it's difficult to tell exactly when parts of Lucy's face changes).

Skandar Keynes dominated this film, much like the way he dominated the previous two. His acting was fantastic and believable, and he proved that he has an outstanding future ahead of him.

And while there was a part of me that cringed a bit at the Easter egg at the end of the film (the part of me that is a bit of a purist when it comes to adaptations), there was another part that was rather amused by the reference that was put in. After the kids get back to England, Eustace's mother can be heard calling up to him that his friend Jill Pole has come over to see him. In the book that was published after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (The Silver Chair), Eustace comes back to Narnia with Pole to help save Caspian's son. While it was kind of cool to have a very small reference to the next book (and have the writers do a bit of set up for possibly doing the next movie), there is going to have to be a bit of handwaving to get around the fact that in the book, Eustace and Pole weren't friends until after he had come back from Narnia (because before that he bullied her). I hope that they are able to make a good explanation of it in the next film (as they could have used that opportunity to make a nod to anti-bullying with the beginning of The Silver Chair).

This once was rather better than the adaptation of Prince Caspian and is certainly worth at least a rental.
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December 2011


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