We went and caught a viewing of CHRONICLES OF NARNIA today. For kids, I think it was a pretty good movie. I think back to when I was a little kid and how CLASH OF THE TITANS was the coolest shit on the planet, so NARNIA is probably a great kids flick I'd imagine.
However, for the dork 30yr old that I am Today, I found the movie to be quite boring. The costuming and creature work by WETA Workshop was cool, as always. And the acting by the kids was good, too. My only complaint, really, is the slow paced storytelling, which lacks any kind of climatic arcs; it just jumps onto a certain excitement level and stays the course.
The Winter Witch (Tilda Swinton) was, for the most part, the weakest element of the movie. I usually enjoy that actress, but she felt out of place here and slightly confused at what her character was. A large part I think was due to her weak costuming. While the costuming everywhere else was wonderful, hers was simple and downright silly at times. Her costume at the final battle, however, kicked ass (pictured below).
Pretty sweet imagery! Reminds me of Frazetta's Warrior With Polar Bears painting. Wonder which came first? I guess CS Lewis, huh? Anyway, back to the movie critique. . . Midway through the film I found myself closing my eyes and wishing the flick would just end so I could leave. Not that it was BAD, but I was personally bored out of my skull. I wish I could vocalize better about this, but can't seem to find the words. Sorry.
The final battle is when I finally sat up in my chair and got back into the movie. While it still lacked that certain something the rest of the movie suffered from, it was still probably the best part of the flick. Throughout the movie, there's tons of visual candy to geek on, and this has oodles; Centaurs, minotaurs, and griffins, oh my!!
I should also praise the fx done throughout. Particular kudos to R&H for their animal work, which they've become masters at. The Lion was quite well done. Good job guys!
In the end, the movie felt flat and too simple in its storytelling. I haven't read the book(s), so I don't know where the faults lie; the book, or the movie. But as a movie in itself, I think it failed to achieve the grand ADVENTURE it sought after - sure, the characters and settings for an adventure were there, but the epic adventure itself never truly took off. The movie is filled with numerous missed-opportunities, which could have easily made the movie awesome. Oh well.
Ok, reading over this, I think this review is sounding more harsh than it is. I think its a good matinee flick to catch on the big screen. And, perhaps, upon my next viewing, it will grow on me more. Terra and my parents seemed to like it more than I. *shrug*
So, in the end, as a KIDS FLICK I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
As a JIM CRITIQUE FLICK, I give it 2-3/4 Lil Jimmys out of 5 *
(* 2.5 being middle of the road)