15 December 2010 | Ryan_MYeah
As always, it's stylishly produced, but most of the magic of the first two films seems to have been lost.
Today, I checked out the latest entry of the Chronicles of Narnia film franchise based on the books by C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
In this film, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie are currently taking shelter in a home owned by their uncle. But, through the magic of a mysterious painting, they're suddenly brought back into Narnia, and brought aboard the Dawn Treader, the strongest ship of the Narnia armada, but they also bring along their cousin, Eustace. With the help of Caspian, they seek seven legendary swords that can destroy a mysterious new enemy, a deadly green mist.
The film makes good use of its cast, and their performances are fine, and do their best to carry the film. Just like the first two films, Dawn Treader is handsomely produced, boasting impressive production design, costumes, makeup, sound design, and special effects, and some great battle sequences, such as a daring escape from slave traders, and a nail biting final battle with ferocious sea serpents.
But you know what? Those things can't save the film from it's pretty big faults. Most of the magic that seemed to make the first film, and to a lesser extent the second film, so special seems to have been lost through the film's unfocused narrative. This time around the magic feels kind of generic. I also found the editing by Rick Shaine to be inconsistent, as the pace of the film tends to hop infrequently between slow and developmental, to fast and offbeat.
As for David Arnold's score, not only was it a big no no to fire Harry Gregson-Williams, but his score also gets a little derivative at times. I couldn't help but be reminded of Pirates of the Caribbean and Edward Scissorhands at points. There's also a somewhat distracting end credits country tune performed by Carrie Underwood, which by itself is quite lovely, but in the context of the film, feels out of place to the fantasy of Narnia.
It really does seem like the series has gotten worse with each new film. Either the film makers need to get their acts together (And hire a new editor), or they need to hand it to more capable hands.
I give Voyage of the Dawn Treader ** out of ****