She Said – She Said … The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 3D

Directed by: Michael Apted
Cast: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes, Will Poulter
Running Time: 1 hr 55 mins
Rating: PG
Release Date: December 10, 2010

Jeff Bayer’s film review of Narnia

PLOT: Lucy (Henley) and Edmund Pevensie (Keynes) are back in Narnia with their annoying cousin Eustace (Poulter). With the help of Prince Caspian (Barnes) they must take a trip on a ship to collect seven special swords and stop an evil green mist.

It’s the first ever She Said – She Said. I know what you’re thinking … cat fight. True, you’re mainly thinking it right now because I just suggested it, but you’re still thinking about it.

It’s Megan Lehar vs. Morrow McLaughlin. As always, PLOT SPOILER. There, I said it. And so we begin …

She Said (Lehar)

I’m so glad the powers that be decided to make a third Chronicles of Narnia movie. Third time’s the charm right? Actually, I have to give them props on being so consistently mediocre. Voyage of the Dawn Treader follows in the tradition of the other two films, offering some action and adventure, a poor attempt at comedy and a lot of boredom. I’m trying to figure out why I don’t really care and I think it may have to do with the characters. After three movies, I still don’t know much about Edmund and Lucy. Edmund will be a dick sometimes, doing things like selling out Narnia for Turkish delight or getting made that he’s the younger brother and Lucy’s main character trait is that she is jealous of Susan. Otherwise they really have no personality.

She Said (McLaughlin)

I liked it! I liked all of them. If they made a fifth one entitled Chronicles of Narnia: Finally They all Age I’d probably still like it. As soon as there are talking minotaurs or sea serpents or just really gorgeous fantasy locations, I’m bound to be happy as a pig in slop. I thought the story moved right along, since they wasted very little time getting us back to Narnia; I thought the first real adventure with the slavers was good and tense; and I thought everything looked very original and cool: the Dawn Treader was an awesome ship, and the sea serpent! My god, the sea serpent! Coolest sea serpent I think I’ve seen! It was like a giant evil Moray eel/centipede and it looked stupendous. If the sea serpent could’ve just trailed after them the whole movie a la Tock from Peter Pan, while Ben Barnes strides around without his shirt on…best movie ever.

I didn’t think Lucy’s main character trait was jealousy of her sister. I find her to be a very quiet, noble character and I like her presence. She’s just getting to an age now where she’d like to be considered a great beauty and her standard of beauty is her older sister. I loved when she noticed the woman tucking her hair behind her ear, so Lucy spent the rest of the movie copying the movement in order to seem more feminine. I completely get that, especially since I grew up with an older sibling with a much higher hotness factor than I had. The reason I don’t think it’s jealousy is because that particular emotion has a lot of resentment if not all out hatred wrapped up in it, and I never got that from Lucy. She really wished for beauty, but she didn’t want to do any harm.

I do agree that Edmund could be a dick. Certainly he was when he went into his Daffy Duck-in-Cave-Filled-with-Gold routine (Mineminemine! Downdowndown!), but he’s still a kid who manages to seem noble.

I don’t have any great desire to see it a second and third time, but I enjoyed it the first go-around.

She Said (Lehar)

Speaking of minotaurs, was that dude really a minotaur or a bipedal talking bull? Because a minotaur is supposed to have the head of a bull with the body of a man and he seemed to be all bull. This is the kind of thing I was thinking about during the movie. I got a little bored.

I didn’t think the adventures were bad, I just didn’t have a sense of real peril. You knew they would be rescued, everyone is so noble. And when they’re not noble, they go way too far in the opposite direction, hence your “Daffy Duck in-cave-filled-with-gold routine”. Which is a good description, by the way.

I know you like Ben Barnes but was it just me or did he look a little more greasy haired and strung out this time around? Also the scene where he’s tossing and turning in the hammock and calling his father’s name… that made me giggle.

That said, again I don’t think it was a bad movie, I just feel like the filmmakers didn’t take any chances to make it better. That’s weird because Michael Apted directed the film and he’s awesome. I wonder if he had final say. I’m not trying to say that I need every kids movie to be dark, but the Narnia books have a greater sense of peril than the films have managed thus far. Though I will say that the effects have gotten way better, they cg animals were woefully bad in the first film and they’ve improved a lot. Your sea monster looked good.

She Said (McLaughlin)

Here’s the problem with capturing the minotaur: you can’t give him the body of a man without putting pants on him, and no one, but no one, is intimidated by a minotaur wearing pants. So, yes. The bipedal bull is a minotaur. If you’re voting that we shave off all that fur and just let his man-parts dangle in the breeze, then you can count me in. I’m all about mythical creature porn. Unfortunately, people would probably complain since it’s supposed to be a “family film” (heavy sigh).

It’s complicated to say you didn’t feel any real peril, because unless you can effectively suspend your disbelief, there’s really never any peril. The main characters aren’t going to seriously biff it in these types of movies. I think it just comes down to the fact that I went in all wide-eyed and receptive and you were all, like, jaded and adult about it. For example, the scene where Lucy is sold into slavery (she’s rescued folks!), really, REALLY disturbed me; it carries with it so many other sinister implications and possibilities and even though I knew she’d be okay, I was still nervous about it. Also, the scene were Eustace is trying to put the sword back with the others and he keeps getting sucked back into the evil fog – I was anxious. Timed situations like that always make me incredibly anxious, where I find myself biting at my fingers and wriggling around in my chair. I know he’s going to prevail in the end, but to me it continues to feel like raised stakes.

I can’t compare the films to the books, because I haven’t read the books (which I’m starting to feel is a huge mistake that begs correction), so I’ll take your word for it that the books do it better. But the books almost always do it better; they aren’t aimed as much toward pandering to huge demographics as movies are, and they aren’t restricted by two-hour time limits.

She Said (Lehar)

You make some excellent points, in fact, you brought up a good question. Shouldn’t the minotaur wear pants? He is male. He should really wear pants for the same reason a man with a bull’s head should. But again, kids movie I guess.

Also, your point about real peril was valid. It’s not like this is a chronic problem for me though, I fear for plenty of characters in films, even in silly circumstances. And when it comes to animals, forget about it. An ill treated dog can sour me on a whole movie. So I dont’ know why I didn’t worry about Lucy, I think it’s that she was in Narnia and not the real world. I should probably think on this some more.

Also, if you enjoyed the film, I imagine you’d really like the books.

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