It has been a rough ride, but The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader has made its way to theaters. Financed and distributed by 20th Century Fox after Disney dumped the franchise, the third film of this embattled series features Edmund and Lucy trekking back to Narnia with their insufferable cousin Eustace. Swordplay, shenanigans and a sea serpent ensue.
Personally, these movies always held a soft spot for me, even if I thought their quality was lackluster. The acting was pretty lousy in the first and only marginally improved in the second. But I had to like the movies on some level, since I did grow up with the books.
So what of the third movie, how did it all work out?
The acting is improved. Edmund was the highlight for me in the second movie, and he continues to be solid in the role. Lucy too improved, although she still wasn’t that compelling. Ben Barnes seems to be channeling some Inigo Montoya in his portrayal of King Caspian, which I found enjoyable. Will Poulter brings some depth to his role as Eustace.
The set design was absolutely gorgeous. The Dawn Treader (the titular ship of the movie) is an absolute work of art. The look and feel of the ship was a pleasure to look at. Given that 95% of the movie takes place out at sea, the ship went a long way to setting the atmosphere of the film.
The effects too were quite solid.
The movie played fast and loose with the plot of the book, to mixed results. It doesn’t always make sense. I’m not going to go into too much detail to avoid spoiling it. I’ll just say that certain circumstances and events are completely fabricated and it shows. They just feel so random and out of place that it pulled me out of the movie.
On the whole, I liked the movie. I cared about the characters and enjoyed watching the movie, but the overall quality of the writing and plot left a lot to be desired. On the whole, I give The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader a 63 out of 100.
For Attebiz Movie Reviews, I’m the J-Man.