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    December 13, 2010

    MOVIE REVIEW: THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER

    THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER (English/PG13)
    Genre: Adventure/Fantasy
    Release Date: 02 December 2010 (for 3D), 09 December 2010 (general release)
    Distributor: 20th Century Fox
    Running Time: 115 minutes
    Directors: Michael apted
    Producers: Mark Johnson, Andrew Adamson, Philip Steuer, Douglas Gresham
    Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Michael Petroni, based on the series by C.S. Lewis
    Casts: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Will Poulter, Ben Barnes, Liam Neeson, Simon Pegg
    Plot: "The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader" centres on Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their pesky cousin Eustace Scrubb. The trio find themselves swallowed into a painting and on to a fantastic Narnian ship headed for the very edges of the world. Joining forces once again with their royal friend Prince Caspian and the warrior mouse Reepicheep, they are whisked away on a mysterious mission to the Lone Islands and beyond. On this bewitching voyage that will test their hearts and spirits, they will face magical Dufflepuds, sinister slave traders, roaring dragons and enchanted merfolk. Only an entirely uncharted journey to Aslan's Country - a voyage of destiny and transformation for each of those aboard the Dawn Treader - can save Narnia, and all the astonishing creatures in it, from an unfathomable fate.

    THE VERDICT

    The ocean is the new setting for Narnia
    It is so unfortunate that the third Narnia installment has raised more concerns than a possible success with the franchise is now heading a rough sail. Audience abandoned Prince Caspian, the sequel to the highly successful The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, because it has strayed away from its core materials and themes on religious. While the fans of Narnia who have enjoyed the book series as a kid may return to bring this third movie for more but for most of it, Narnia remains only to be seen by the familiar circle of readers. Now, 20th Century Fox has taken over the distribution duty from Walt Disney, where the latter ditched the series after a questionable quality over Prince Caspian, hoping to give a boost. Also, it has been given an extra-dimensional view as it has now been converted into 3D. Does The Voyage of the Dawn Treader a worthy movie after all the concerns?

    The Voyage of the Dawn Treader follows the two younger Pevensies, Lucy and Edmund journey return into the mystical land of Narnia along with their odious cousin Eustace Scrubb during the final days of the second World War, while their older brother Peter is studying for his university entrance exams and their older sister Susan is traveling through America with their parents. Since the second installment, three years have passed since peace has been established in Narnia, and Caspian has undertaken an oath to find the seven lost Lords of Narnia. For the search, they must sail to the far-eastern of the ocean into the country where they believed was the land called Aslan's Country. On this bewitching voyage that will test their hearts and spirits, they will face magical Dufflepuds, sinister slave traders, roaring dragons and enchanted merfolk. Can they save the kingdom of Narnia from the unfathomable fate?

    Georgie Henley returns as Lucy Pevensie
    The third movie is a do-or-die for the franchise. Why not, there is some insiders claiming that this could be the last movie or just probably one more sequel after this. What went wrong to Narnia you ask? Not even I am sure what is the solid reason, although it would be speculative that the second movie was the one to blame. Prince Caspian was not favored by many and thus making the franchise in jeopardize with the lack of focus.

    The first look on the film, the movie moves into a familiar territory again. It looks kiddy as always but now having something to talk about. Michael Apted and writer Christopher Markus attempted a story that feels very limited to begin with. The two elder Pevenises were missing leaving only Lucy and Edmund to go on. While there are some distinguished comparisons you can draw with the book it based upon, the movie version boosted a much narratively and episodic stronger than the book itself.

    Will there be a fourth movie after all?
    Fortunately, we have some magical touch recaptured for the third one, albeit not all. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is an exclusive journey that returns to the amazing story that designated from the spiritual and religion system of C.S. Lewis. The theme of spiritual was abandoned in Prince Caspian but for this time, the theme that revolves around the afterlife are much and well explored. The journey to the far east is rough and possesses the strong connection about the death and the heaven. Edmund, Lucy, the ever annoying Eustace and King Caspian X embarked in an adventure to search the lost Lords of Narnia until the Alsan's Country. The point is, as the journey moves on, the symbolism of death becomes clearer. As always, the wise lion Aslan has something planned for them - a further test about fears and desires.

    It is not surprising after all that the movie has contrast elements to one from the book. Michael Apted pulled in a different approach by infusing more swashbuckling sword fighting and more Tolkien-like adventure. These elements makes the movie become more exciting but also defeating the true purpose of handing in the actions. The C.S. Lewis' novel dealt about bravery and ability to think solution for the troubles. The plot is a little bit action-orientated and become more like a room for swashbuckling once our heroes reached Lone Island.

    Clearly, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is appreciatory for those who are familiar with the backhand plot. This movie is suspected won't be able to reach the outside circle of the faithful who knew Narnia as it is. It becomes an issue because the storyline is at times very confusing. While the goal of the movie is to find the missing Lords and to solve the mysterious green mist, the movie portrays that as if the reaching the Aslan's Country is the primary focus afterward. There is still a soulful story to talk about considering the characters have better development tale to deal with. The Pevensies have achieved their purposes and learnt a lot about life now, thanks to Narnia. If there will be another installment to follow, it will be Eustace's turn.

    The rivalry and friendship between the Kings of Narnia

    In the end, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is not a great nor terrible movie after all. There is much better elements this time compared to Prince Caspian, more swashbuckling and more narratively stronger movie than before. The franchise might still have another breathing life to go but judging by the box office performance in United States, that is pretty dreadful to speak with now. There are still love for the franchise and needless to say, it depends on the foreign market to make things work again. Do you want another adventure into Narnia after all?

    THE RATING
    Story: 3.0 stars
    Casts: 3.5 stars
    Cinematography: 3.5 stars
    Effects: 4.0 stars
    OVERALL : 3.5 stars
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 13.5

    THE VOYAGE OF NARNIA is still riding the ocean in cinema nationwide.
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