Return to Narnia
image from moviefill.com
RANT: Remember when I was talking about people who tap the rail, sending the morse code down to everyone who happens to have their feet up as well? Apparently it is not only the older set who love to tap obliviously. A young teenage girl also found herself absently banging away at the top crossbar during most of the film. I guess restless leg syndrome strikes all ages.
SYNOPSIS: Lucy, Edmund and their cousin Eustace are drawn back to Narnia to join King Caspian in his quest to uncover and defeat the evils that are plaguing the Eastern Seas.
Director Michael Apted joins the Narnia franchise in this third film entry to the C.S. Lewis fantasy novel series. Chronologically the fifth of the seven Narnian stories, it is the last novel that involves the Pevensie children. Although Peter and Sue make peripheral cameos in Dawn Treader, the story focuses primarily on Edmund, Lucy, their uptight cousin Eustace and King Caspian.
The obvious third choice to make into the film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader really had to be put to film before Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley got too old to play the Edmund and Lucy character, respectively. The introduction of their cousin Eustace Scrubb in Dawn Treader allows Walden Media to set the stage for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, if they pursue the series.
For The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Apted and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely combine the feel of Narnia with a dash of Pirates of the Caribbean and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. The obvious nautical theme aside, Dawn Treader gives us water-based mer-people, dragons, slave-traders, warriors, minotaurs, kings and queens, sea serpents and a menacing green mist that engulfs and abducts all the seafaring people that it happens upon.
When Caspian, now king of Narnia, looks to fulfill a promise to his dead father to recover seven Narnian lords who fled assassination attempts years prior, his vessel comes across Lucy, Edmund and Eustace in the treading water in the sea. As they make their way to The Lonely Islands, the last place the seven lords were known to be, they encounter slave traders who have imprisoned some of the island's inhabitants and have sacrificed others to an evil green mist. From there, Caspian, Lucy, Edmund and Eustace, along with mouse swordsman Reepicheep and rest of the Narian crew, set sail to recover the seven lords (or, at least their swords). The swords, presented by Aslan himself, possess magical properties when brought together on Aslan's Table. When brought together, its magic would provide the means to defeating the evil that afoot.
Georgie Henley's Lucy shows she is growing up, even though she doesn't see the maturity and worth in herself. Skandar Keynes' Edmund still fights his inner demons of wanting to step out from the shadow of both Peter and Caspian. Speaking of Caspian, Ben Barnes portrays nobility, ferocity and a vulnerability, even as king. Reepicheep, voiced by Simon Pegg, brings humor and daring to his role - as good as any Errol Flynn swashbuckling. Last is Will Poulter's Euctace Scrubb, a boy desperate to return to his own notion of reality and logic, but eventually realizes that the bravery in his heart is every bit as real as the creatures of Narnia.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has heart, action and adventure. And when the voyage is finished, we realize that this is the last Narnian journey for Lucy and Edmund. This film serves as an ending for the Pevensie children, but also paves the way for new experiences.
Worth: Matinee and DVD
I am also trying out a new rating system shown below based on reader reaction to my somewhat complex monetary rating scale. I will give both ratings and see what kind of reaction I muster. A movie can receive up to 5 popcorn buckets. Why popcorn buckets? Because I am a slave to the thousand + calorie delight! Enjoy!