The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
This time around Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their pesky cousin Eustace Scrubb find themselves swallowed into a painting and on to a fantastic Narnian ship headed for the very edges of the world.
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Finally got around to watching this after Netflix just released it. I always heard it was the worst of the three, but I was pleasantly surprised! Of course, that might be because it doesn't take much to be better than the BBC version I grew up with - and that's coming from someone who loved "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" from back in 1988. Richard Dempsey is still my definitive King Peter and Sophie Wilcox my Lucy. It's when making the sequels that BBC just seemed to stop caring, and turned out one awful series after another (don't even get me started on The Silver Chair, the new movie is bound to seem like a masterpiece in comparison).There's also the fact that the book Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which this is based on, is somewhat flawed, especially in dramatic structure. It's very episodic, like many small stories instead of one unified, which isn't good for a movie. Something had to be done, and I actually think they solved it well for this movie, by moving some of the events around, and by inventing a sort of consistent leitmotif; the evil mist. While a poorly developed "villain", it created a better focus and raised the stakes from the beginning. I also think the themes were better developed, for example Lucy being tempted by vanity. "When you grow up, you should be just like YOU" is actually a pretty important message to little girls. And Caspian seemed more like a human being than the cardboard cut-out from the BBC version (and maybe the book). Further, compared to said version, the special effects were of course infinitely better, and the script was also much better, though, as with this whole franchise, I would have liked the language less modernized.The most important thing, the acting, was generally good. Skandar Keynes needs to be mentioned - he has this weird staring look, like he's very nearsighted or something - but he's a great actor. He gave the movie emotional resonance in a way that Georgie Henley couldn't. Sorry, but despite Lucy's vanity arc, I felt Henley was mostly there to look cute and smile in wonder over the magic. That worked when she was little, but in this movie her lack of range and depth showed. Will Poulter, though. What a talent! The guy's a comedic genius! He *was* Eustace, acting not only with his face, but with his whole body. He gave Eustace his own, very geeky way of moving and walking. I do wish they had made him less of a comic relief and more outright mean, so that there would have been more to redeem (like, actually stealing water when there was lack of it), but I like that they moved the sea-serpent to the end battle and let Eustace The Dragon redeem himself through the role he played there. It's too bad Will Poulter is too old to play Eustace now, but I hope he keeps acting. In conclusion - maybe not a great movie, but definitely a decent one, watchable for the whole family.
This movie is the adaptation of a C.S. Lewis book. In this film, Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia, for the last time, accompanied by an inconvenient and annoying cousin named Eustace, to assist Caspian to find seven lords of Telmar who disappeared at sea.Directed by Michael Apted, it has screenplay by Michael Petroni, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. The cast was headed by Georgie Henley (Lucy), Skandar Keynes (Edmund), Ben Barnes (Caspian), Will Poulter (Eustace) and also features the voices of Eddie Izzard (Reepicheep) and Liam Neeson (Aslan)."Chronicles of Narnia" is a trilogy that started badly and ended worse. If the first two films were bad due to the inability to properly explore the original books and the incompetence of the director and writing team, they knew at least compensate it: the quality of the actors and their performances, the costumes and extraordinary scenery or the bright and colorful picture were aspects that granted a certain beauty for these movies that managed to forget the mistakes and made them into something good. Well, if they were not completely good, at least they were acceptable or reasonable. This film does not. This film ran over C. S. Lewis with the force of a train and just rewrote the story. I was not there to see it, but I bet that was Michael Petroni's fault because, back in 2002, he had done much the same thing in "Queen of the Damned", which I consider the worst vampire movie ever, even worse than the Hammer's B movies of the seventies. So, I believe Petroni loves to destroy books in the movies... but, if Petroni is relapsing into this crime, the remaining writers are, at least, accomplices in "literary murder", as the director, who would have certainly done better if he had made another movie with monkeys! In addition to the rewriting of the history, this film has other flaws: the special effects are unconvincing and the climax of the film is an unusual fight against an evil island, which makes no sense because the film does not explain anything or put things in context.This film, however, we need to recognize the quality of the sceneries and wardrobe, and above all the excellent performances of the actors. Ben Barnes, in particular, greatly improved his Caspian, now without that weird accent and a greater psychological depth. Absolutely amazing was Will Poulter, who made a superb interpretation and has shown that it may prove to be an excellent actor when he reaches his maturity.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010): Dir: Michael Apted / Cast: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes, Will Poulter / Voices: Liam Neeson: While considerably weaker than the previous two films, this adventure about finding self focuses on Edmund and Lucy's return to the magical land of Narnia, which is accomplished through a water painting. They are joined reluctantly by their uptight cousin Eustace. From there they embark upon a voyage that involves a green mist that brings reality to their greatest fears. Director Michael Apted has accomplished much in his long career with films such as Coal Miner's Daughter and Amazing Grace but here he is backed by phenomenal special effects that highlight the dangerous voyage of sea serpents, dragons, treasure, and the invaluable presence of the lion Aslan. The screenplay unfortunately is not as tight as previous films although the leads are on top. Georgie Henley as Lucy desires the beauty of her sister Susan but must learn to accept herself as is. Skandar Keynes as Edmund struggles with greed and the position in Narnia verses his home life on Earth. Ben Barnes as Prince Caspian is underwritten here and only seem along for the ride. The biggest problem is Will Poulter's stern bully attitude as Eustace that is forced and over the top. His dragon transformation bares interests but his switch to nobleman seems predictable and contrived. Liam Neeson once again provides the wisdom of Aslan. Corny and beneath the other two, otherwise this outing is an entertaining quest of the inner struggle of self. Score: 7 ½ / 10
Let me say right up front that I am an atheist and a secularist and as such I don't care about any religious undertones or allegory this series may contain. My review of this movie is based on the book to movie transition and how good it is as a fantasy film.The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was a return to what Narnia is supposed to be. Narnia is nowhere near as good as Harry Potter or the Middle Earth trilogies. But the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was a good movie in its own way. Prince Caspian was more disappointing. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader restored the magic and wonder of Narnia. Prince Caspian placed a very heavy emphasis on battle scenes and was darker and more serious than is appropriate for the Narnia series. Narnia is supposed to be full of wonder and magic. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe had it, Prince Caspian lost it, and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader restores it. First of all, while the Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a less literal translation of the book to the movie, it is still very faithful to the book. What will be very noticeable to viewers who are familiar with the book is that the order events occur in in the movie is different from the book and in some cases noticeably so. This is a non issue to me. The fact remains that most of the important events from the book are in the movie. Furthermore, a change in order is actually good for the movie. It works far better cinematically to have Eustace's dragon form occur later in the story. Also, the book is largely episodic so altering the order of events doesn't really alter the meaning or significance of any event. At the end of the day it's still about the quest for the lost lords and the for Aslan's Country. Now we have the issue of content not in the book being added to the film. While I do not agree with the director that a "thrust" needed to be added as I think the quest for the lost lords and Aslan's Country is a perfectly good thrust, I do like the addition of laying the Seven Swords at Aslan's Table. This addition is completely consistent with the original story as the Seven Swords plot line fits right alongside the Seven Lords plot line. On the other hand I certainly could have done without that retarded green mist subplot. The green mist subplot? No. Just. No. The acting/casting was mixed to positive as is typical for this series. Liam Neeson is an awesome voice of Aslan and Georgie always gives a splendid performance as Lucy. On the other hand I've never cared for Edmund in the movies and Ben's Caspian is good but not great. Obviously the main newbie here is Will as Eustace and he's fantastic. He captures the annoying and unlikable nature of the character brilliantly. The Eustace of this movie felt far more real than the Edmund of LLW. The pacing is excellent. This movie gets going quickly and never has a dull moment. But the best part of this movie is the special effects and visuals. This movie is beautifully shot and absolutely breathtaking. This movie has very vivid colors, very realistic looking settings and items, and just about perfect production quality. The special effects and visuals in this movie are a wonder to behold. This is also easily the most family friendly/ child friendly movie in the Narnia series so it can be enjoyed by just about anyone. All in all The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a quality movie that restores the wonder and magic of Narnia. Faithfulness to the book: 8 out of 10. Casting/acting: 7 out of 10. Pacing: 10 out of 10. Special effects and visuals: 10 out of 10. Overall: 9 out of 10.