The latest kids’ adventure movie to hit the screen is “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader.” For awhile, it looked like a bleak future for the Narnia movies. After “Prince Caspian” performed less than expected at the box office, Disney dropped the series and 20th Century Fox picked up the distribution rights. Another thing that made Dawn Treader seem less tempting was the absence of the two older Pevensie siblings for the majority of the film. In addition a new director was brought to the series. I couldn’t help but let these things lower my expectations. (And I only have read the first book.) I went to the screening with low expectations and left finding the movie was better than expected.
The movie opens to the younger Pevensie siblings, Edmund and Lucy, played by Skandar Keyes and Georgie Henley. You can see right away that they have grown up a bit. They are stuck in Europe with their aunt, uncle, and unpleasant cousin, Eustace (Will Poulter). They cannot go to their family, who are living in America, until the war ends. During an argument with the annoying Eustace, water pours out of a painting in Lucy’s room. The room floods, and Lucy, Edmund and Eustace find themselves floating to surface in the seas of Narnia. Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) instantly finds them, and brings them aboard his ship, The Dawn Treader. When a mysterious green mist starts making people disappear, Caspian, the Pevensies’ and company take it upon themselves to discover and save those who have disappeared.
Although the film has a new director, Michael Apted, the tone and feel is almost the same as the previous two. Some of the differences were the use of a handheld camera, which were really obvious when they were on the ship. It sort of made me feel like I was part of the movie. Another difference was that it is in 3D, despite how subtle it is. I’m not a big fan of 3D, so I was pleased with how it was done. However, I still think that it’s not worth to pay the extra money to see it in 3D; 2D would suffice.
C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series is known to have religious undertones. Those undertones are much more detectable in this movie than in the previous ones. It’s faintly present throughout the movie, but at the end, it’s very noticeable. Usually, I don’t feel comfortable when religion is “thrown” at me. Yet, in this case, it didn’t bother me in the least. In fact, the end is bittersweet.
If you love the Narnia movies, then this installment is not one to miss. You’ll enjoy seeing new and old characters (Reepicheep, the sword fighting mouse, is a scene-stealer!) come together for a thrilling adventure.
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader” will be released in theaters on December 10th.