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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Dec 16, 2010
By Laurence Boyce

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Director: Michael Apted

The latest instalment of the big screen adaptations of the work of CS Lewis shows just how indebted much of modern culture is to his works of fantasy. Even though Lewis created Narnia more than half a century ago it feels like the movie is a jumble of Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and various other movie franchises and as such – whilst entertaining – all feels rather derivative.

We begin in England at the height of the Second World War where Lucy and Edmund are kept safe from the horrors of battle by living with their odious cousin Eustace. However, they soon find themselves in a new conflict as Lucy and Edmund are drawn back to the magical land of Narnia with a bewildered Eustace in tow. There they are reunited with King Caspian aboard the Narnian vessel Dawn Treader and soon discover that they must embark on a quest to find 7 missing lords and purge the land of evil.

This is all very well done with some fine performances (particularly Will Poulter who manages to be both slimy and sympathetic as Eustace), excellent special effects (especially when you see the film in 3D) and a story that manages to keep on at an exciting pace. Yet, as mentioned, there’s a sneaking suspicion throughout that we’ve seen it all before. There’s no spark, no life and nothing out of the ordinary that would mark it apart from the numerous other special-effects laden blockbusters that have littered the cinema over the past year.

This is designed to keep the children happy over the Christmas period (after they’ve got bored with Harry Potter) and – in that case – it fulfils its role admirably. Likewise, fans of Lewis will enjoy the fact that’s it’s a pretty faithful adaptation of his story. But those wanting something different from the usual CGI extravaganza would do well to look elsewhere. H H

Now showing in all three countries.

 

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