Vapid and unfaithful adaptation fails to capture the richness and depth of the book
I have a sad announcement to make: the Narnia film series has crossed the event horizon. I seriously hoped that this movie would improve from and redeem the series from the massive disappointment that was Prince Caspian. However, the series has gone from simply focusing on the more epic scale part of the story than the characters that the book chiefly focused on (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) to dragging out the story, jumbling the timeline, and adding pointless battles (Prince Caspian), to becoming an extremely vapid husk of a movie (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader). However, I will say that I like this movie a little bit better than Prince Caspian because it is not as long, and I don't have to endure the unfaithfulness as long. In this movie the characters are boring, while the book is full of character development. The book contained so many beautiful and captivating scenes; even some of the preachy Aslan scenes were amazing. Despite the fact that I identify as an atheist and a feminist, I love the works of C. S. Lewis, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was my second favorite Narnia book (The Last Battle was my favorite). The book was rich and deep, but the movie was insipid. Eustace was insufferable and infuriating in the book, and it was such a relief to see him change, he was pointless and boring in the movie. The Narnia series (and all of Lewis's work) has great dialogue and interplay between characters. Like Prince Caspian, all of that was gone in this movie. The book was devoid of battles, this movie had pointless battles. Two key characters, Gumpas (the villainous Governor of the Lone Islands) and Ramandu (the retired star) were missing. There was no central villain in the book; the movie added an unintimidating Green Mist as the villain. The quest to find the Seven Lords, and eventually reach the End of the World was replaced with a ridiculous quest for Magic Swords that will destroy Dark Island, the pinnacle of all evil in Narnia. Dark Island was in the book, but it was not the pinnacle of all evil Narnia, and was easily destroyed by Aslan. Also, the Sea Serpent encountered early in the book was instead found in Dark Island as a representation of Edmund's fear. The movie also added ridiculous subplots involving Rhince and his family, Edmund feeling that he was not as good as Peter, and Lucy wanting to be pretty. Yes, Lucy did want to be pretty in the book, but only one scene focused on that. Also, the two GOOD Aslan scenes in the book (the redemption of Eustace and encountering him at the end) were rushed and boring. Also, the other two movie managed to improve Aslan's character, in this one he was (for atheists like me) just what he was in the book: a cold dictator that brainwashed his subjects with his golden fur. Also, the actors were two old for their characters. As for the violence, this is the least violent of the Narnia films. There is a battle with a sea serpent, which involves arrows, swords and an allied dragon (spoiler alert, it's Eustace). There is a bloodless sword fight early on in the movie. People are sacrificed to the Green Mist, but it is not violent (and the movie is so bland it is impossible to care about these characters). The Green Mist tries to capture Eustace, but he escapes. Lucy desires to be attractive to the opposite sex, and Edmund and Caspian are spellbound by the star Lilliandil's appearance. Also, there are Christian themes of following truth and redemption in this movie, but they have been dumbed down from the books. Overall, this is a vapid, two star movie adapted from a deep, five star book. 2 stars.
This title contains:
Positive role models
Violence & scariness