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Kieran’s Rating: 7.5/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 6.0/10
(3 ratings total)
There were reasons to be both excited and nervous about this third installment of the “Narnia” series, but luckily Michael Apted has made a fun, swashbucking family film.
Peter (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley) are stuck in Cambridge, England, living with their bratty and selfish cousin Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter). Peter and Lucy long to return to Narnia; Peter has been rejected by the army for his age and Lucy, like many teenage girls, starts to have doubts about her looks. Through a magic painting the three youngsters are teleported to the oceans of Narnia and found by King Caspian X (Ben Barnes), leading a voyage to the Lone Islands. After freeing the people from a slave trader, Caspian, Lucy, Peter and co. have to go eastward to find the seven lost lords and stop a mysterious green mist.
Everything you would want or expect from a fantasy is here: sword fights, dragons, magic, legends, strange creatures, wizards and a quest into an unknown territory. The adventure was light-hearted and there is a great amount of humour. Poulter was excellent as the butt of the jokes as a spoiled child who is overwhelmed by his surroundings. He had a particularly good acting relationship with Keynes and Simon Pegg, the voice of Reepicheep. Pegg was able to inject some really comic energy as Eddie Izzard did with the role.
The action was well handled and the special effects were decent. Because of the smaller forces involved and the sea-faring adventure there are no massive battles between large armies but more smaller, quicker skirmishes. The final battle was very much like the final action scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, a small group of people fighting a sea creature. The costumes were very similar to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films and the filmmakers seem to be influenced by the “Harry Potter” series and the glowing sword from Lord of the Rings.
Apted paces the film quickly with no moments of boredom to settle in. The voyage to a number of strangle desert-like islands was very similar to classic adventure films like Jason and the Argonauts. The dry islands were very similar to the Greek islands. It has an old-fashioned style and feel, but that is not necessarily bad — in fact it’s pretty good. The cinematography and set designs are bright and colorful and this is a perfect film to take children to.
Whilst Keynes and Henley are a little unsteady at first in the film, they grow into their roles and becoming more assured. Barnes drops the Spanish accent from Prince Caspian and it helps him improve his performance. He was much more comfortable in the role and Caspian has grown up as character. He was more believable as a king then as a young prince.
A problem with “Voyage” is there is a lack of a compelling antagonist. This film is more about the “quest” than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian and there is a fresh amount of mystery, but the mystery has a lackluster conclusion.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Directed by Michael Apted
Written by Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely and Michael Petroni (screenplay), C.S. Lewis (novel)
Starring: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Will Poulter, Ben Barnes
Other Player Affinity Reviews
Simon thought: “After two instalments I could only label as ho hum, we are bestowed with a third that is more like ho doldrums. This plodding, episodic, rather shapeless adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel is thick with preposterous and unexplained occurrences and smothered more thickly than ever with blatant religious allegory. Worst yet it the addition of a cousin of the Percival children named Eustace who is perhaps the most insufferable and obnoxious character I have ever had the displeasure of beholding on screen. The only relief comes when he turns into a dragon (don’t ask) and shuts up for a while but by that time this would be fantasy epic is already lost at sea.” Rating: 5.5/10
Dinah’s Rating: 5/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 6.0/10