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Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

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Regression is never a good thing when it comes to movie franchises. Especially when you consider yourself a fan of the books they were based on. But so is the case for The Chronicles of Narnia. The successes of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter gave hope for turning author CS Lewis’ 7 book series into a good film franchise. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe starting things off on a good foot, but Prince Caspian started to show what was to come. Voyage of the Dawn Treader came out, and the reviews were so bad I waited, not only for it to come out on DVD, but a week afterwards for Red Box to carry it. After finally seeing VOTDT, I was actually surprised. Amazing what ridiculous low expectations can do to your opinion.

Don’t get me wrong the first half of this movie is laughably bad. The acting, the effects, the script; it wasn’t a pretty picture. The character of Eustace (played by Will Poulter) is so annoying that every time he opened his mouth I cringed. I realize that he is supposed to be unlikable to show his transformation, but there is a difference between unlikable and “if he opens his mouth one more time I will cut his vocal cords”. The whole first half plays out and takes on the appearance of a made for Tv movie. I had to check the DVD to make sure I wasn’t watching the old BBC Narnia series.

Then, during some unknown period of time, it, surprisingly, got better. Mark it as horrible reviewing, but I cannot even say what it was that did it. Perhaps it was Eustace talking normal, or maybe it was my eyes getting used to the lower budget effects. Or perhaps it was only the appearance of Aslan himself that made it bearable. Whatever it was, it gave me hope. Rumors say the next book to be made is The Magicians Nephew, the first book in the series, and my personal favorite. Hopefully, Walden can get it together to not only make the film better, but to maybe recapture some of that magic in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Rating: C+

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