"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" Movie Review
Independent Films, Talk Shows, Movie Reviews
My fun movie review of the third installment of the Narnia series, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader."
Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” is a cinematic journey that was not supposed to happen. Walt Disney Pictures unceremoniously dumped the franchise after the low box-office returns of the second installment, “Prince Caspian.”
But like the great lion Aslan, 20th Century Fox and Walden Media swooped in and saved the day and gave “The Chronicles of Narnia” a fitting third installment that nearly captures the first film’s magical charms.
Set a year after the events of “Prince Caspian,” Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes) must fend for themselves because their older siblings, Peter (William Moseley) and Susan (Anna Popplewell), are in America.
Lucy and Edmund spend their time in England with their prudish cousin, Eustace Scrubb (wonderfully played by “Son of Rambow’s” Will Poulter). Their logical cousin cannot fathom their magical adventures in Narnia.
That is, until they are summoned back into Narnia when a painting of a ship on the wall of Lucy’s room comes to life and transports them to the now-King Caspian’s (Ben Barnes) sailing ship known as the Dawn Treader.
Based on the third published novel in C.S. Lewis’ epic fantasy series, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” has its anchor firmly entrenched within grand Narnian traditions – enthralling creatures, beautiful production design, and delightful kingdoms.
Much like “The Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter” for that matter, this new “Narnia” involves the characters going on a quest to hunt for missing items. Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace join King Caspian’s perilous journey to track down seven ancient swords belonging to the lost Lords or Narnia.
Director Michael Apted steers the “Narnia” ship for the first time, taking the helm from Andrew Adamson who’s relegated to producing duties this time around. Apted knows documentary (“14 Up”) and drama (“Coal Miner’s Daughter”) but he lacks the sense of wonderment to create a thoroughly satisfying fantasy.
Returning scriptwriters Stephen McFeeley and Christopher Markus encapsulate the Christian piety of the source material. If the first movie was about faith and the second one was about trials and tribulations, then the third film is about resisting temptation.
The treacherous and power-hungry Edmund is the one whose faith is tested. Seducing him is the White Witch (Tilda Swinton), who appears in dream sequences luring him with empty promises.
While the technical qualities of the film are impressive, it is not necessary to watch it in 3D. “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” was converted and not shot in 3D. It doesn’t have the same technical flaws like “Clash of the Titans” but your eyes will thank you if you watch this film in 2D instead.
The film’s biggest flaw is the lack of a clear antagonist. Without a villain, the characters seem to be just wondering aimlessly void of impending doom and gloom.
But the kids will warm up to the fact that the talking mouse, Reepicheep, is gallantly back. Simon Pegg inherits voicing the character from Eddie Izzard.
“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” is still the strongest film of the series. “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” successfully captures its whimsical charms although its lacking a powerful narrative.
But it is still fun to see our favorite characters on the big screen, and as soon as Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) enters the picture, everything is suddenly smooth sailing.
RATING: “THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER” GETS 3 KISSES
Year of Production: 2010
Country: United States