Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
We nothing if not for belief.
The sequel that I thought would never happen...has happened. I apologize to all my readers, who read my review of "The Last Airbender", as I briefly mentioned that Disney wasn't releasing another "Narnia" movie. Boy was I ever wrong on that one, as it seems. Then again, who could blame me? After all, according to the production notes of IMDB, it seems the last "Narnia" movie had a estimated budget of $225,000,000; while grossing a total of $141,621,490 domestically. Don't get me wrong, the film did make up for the cost in international sales rounding up to a total profit of almost $420 million. However, my sources, at the time, claimed that due to poor domestic sales that Disney was not originally planning on releasing this film. But seeing as how this new chapter in the "Narnia" series is shot in 3-D, and factoring in the box office success 3-D films have had recently, it's no surprise that Disney quickly changed it's mind to reap the benefits.
"Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is based off the popular fiction novel of the same name. Collectively being the third chapter in a series of "Narnia" adventures, where audiences are introduced into a magical world where almost anything is possible, and nothing is ever what it seems. However, like all "Narnia" films of the past, the main protagonists not only learn a valuable lesson about life and a bit about more about themselves, they overcome adversity during harsh circumstances.
As the story goes, Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund Pevensie (Skandar Keynes) return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace (Will Poulter), where they meet up with Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship, The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, a band of lost warriors, and a mysterious green mist that causes a person's worst fears to come true; before reaching the edge of the world.
Unfortunately, like the last movie, "Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian", this new film still pales in comparison to the original story. Sacrificing various story elements that would've been useful to elaborate the story, in favor of special effects and action sequences. Leaving various plot holes along the way that sorely needed to be explained like the origin of the green mist itself, as it's never explained in the film.
However, what "Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" lacks in story content, it makes up for in character development and humor of the previous films. Allowing the audiences to become more familiar with the younger siblings of the series, Lucy and Edmund, who were originally supporting characters to Peter and Anna of the previous movies. Like their older siblings of the last movie, Lucy and Edmund, struggle with the idea that they're still kids within the confines of our world; where they were once great rulers of Narnia along their older siblings. Another thing worth noting here is that both characters deeply envy their older siblings, as they try to live up to their names when their adventure begins. It's during this adventure that our heroes learn the most valuable lesson of all when it comes to life......"never undermine your own value, and grow up becoming the best you that you can be." Words to live by, as nobody should ever try live their life to be like anyone else.
Then we get to the new character, Eustace, a cocky spoiled brat who claims that Narnia is nothing more than a land of rubbish and fairy tales. Believing highly of his intelligence and self worth that even when he goes to Narnia, he believes it's all a big dream and refuses to accept it as a real world....at least at first. Needless to say, Eustace lacks any void of imagination around the beginning of the movie, where he believes that any book that isn't based on facts should be deemed as garbage. However, like our other protagonists in this story, he too has a lesson to learn about life as well. One that completely changes his perspective on things.
As for the rest of the film, I thought the special effects and 3-D cinematography were very well done, as Narnia's magical world is perfect for this kind of cinematography. Immersing audiences deeper into this magical world full of wonders that dare to defy a person's wildest dreams...or deepest nightmares. Whatever the case maybe, one thing is for sure....there's never been a more beautiful 3-D movie, since "Alice and Wonderland" and "Avatar." It's literally that freaking good, as the special effects are almost too realistic to even fathom.
Overall, I wouldn't say this is best fantasy film that I've ever seen, but it's certainly one of the most visually stunning ones out there. Sure, the story could have been a helluva a lot better, but the character development and humor more than make up for it. In the end, I'd give this film a three out of four. Not a great film by any means, but it's definitely a great family movie to take your kids to that the entire family will love.
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