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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Michael Apted's 2010 fantasy film and the second sequel in the Narnia film series.

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3 Stars: Not Entirely Disappointing

  • Jan 4, 2011
Rating:
+3
I have never read The Chronicles of Narnia but after watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I considered myself a fan all the same, for I was enchanted by the world of Narnia. Though Prince Caspian, the second installment in the film franchise, was no where near as captivating as the first, it did not dampen my enthusiasm for the stories of Narnia, and so when I sat down in the theatre for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader with my 3D glasses on and popcorn (already in my mouth), I was anticipating a great movie.

I was not disappointed - not entirely, anyway.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader follows the adventures of the youngest of the Pevensie children, Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skander Keynes), as well as their aggravating cousin Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter), who are transported into the magical realm of Narnia through a painting of a ship. There they join with King Caspian (Ben Barnes) and his crew aboard the Dawn Treader, on a quest for seven lost lords of Narnia, battling their own fears and temptations along the way.

The film is a visual marvel. Numerous scenes - for instance, the one where the painting of the ship comes to life, water spilling out through the frame into a dull bedroom and swallowing the children up in waves - will certainly take your breath away. The action sequences (of which there are many) are well-formed and thrillingly executed, and the CGI used throughout the film is brilliant. Overall, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a spectacle for the eyes.



Despite this, however, the film lacks in narrative strength. There are some scenes, such as the one featuring the "dufflepuds", which, although they do contribute to the plot, seem to meander from the main storyline. This takes from the plot's potency; thus, although The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is shorter than both the first and the second of the Narnia movies, it feels longer. There is also, as aforementioned, a lot of action in this movie: showdowns with slave traders, good-natured duels among the Dawn Treader crew (including a swordfight between the gallant mouse Reepicheep and Eustace), and, finally a massive battle against a sea-serpent. While these are all certainly very exciting, at times the movie seems more action than plot.

In terms of acting, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader trumps its predecessors in the Narnian movie franchise. Both Georgie Henley and Skander Keynes have grown and their acting abilities have matured. Henley in particular shows exceptional promise, sensitively portraying a range of emotions on screen, including happiness, anger, fear, and shame. Most delightful about the young actress though is the fact that, although she has matured, she still is able to effectively express herself as a childlike character; for instance, when it begins to snow in one scene after Lucy has read from a spellbook, Henley stares around herself in wonder and joy with an expression delightfully similar to the one she made five years ago.



Our newest actor Will Poulter is, unfortunately, not as charismatic as the former Narnian stars Henley, Keynes, Anna Popplewell (Susan Pevensie) and William Moseley (Peter Pevensie). Though he performed his part quite well, perhaps too much development was allowed for the annoying personality of his character (which was played up for humour) and not enough time given for Poulter to portray his reformed character. By the end of the movie, I found I preferred the dragon Eustace to the boy!



The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was good. Though the plot and characterization were ultimately a bit disappointing, the cinematography was simply stunning, with lots of exciting action sequences and dazzling special effects. Even at parts in the movie where the story felt to be lagging, the images on screen were riveting enough to keep my attention. So if you go to the theatre for the enhanced visuals, I definitely recommend that you check out this movie. If, however, you are looking to be captivated by a well-constructed story with flawless direction, I'd say save your money for now.

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January 09, 2011
Great review. I have yet to see the second film and this one.
 
January 09, 2011
Really fantastic review, Swadhi! Thanks so much for sharing :)
 
January 04, 2011
Great breakdown. we rated this about the same. Thanks for the review!!
 
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More The Chronicles of Narnia: The ... reviews
review by . December 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
2 ½ Stars: Beautiful Film With An UnderWhelming Delivery...
It has been many years since I’ve read the first “Narnia” book; and I honestly cannot say whether I’ve read the second or third books since then. Well, quite honestly, I never became such a big fan of the books or the film. I thought they were decent films with gorgeous set designs and CGI effects that bring the fantasy world to life. This third installment “Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” does try to re-vitalize the franchise after the much …
review by . December 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Solid Fantasy That Steadies The Franchise's Course
Despite all of the unnecessary additions made to Disney's adaptation of C.S. Lewis' wonderful Prince Caspian, I enjoyed that film quite a bit.  I personally believe that the alterations made to some of the characters, specifically Peter, took away from the overall feel of the film.      When I learned that Disney had dumped the franchise after Prince Caspian's poor (at least to them) performance, I was actually quite happy.  I enjoy many of Disney's …
review by . December 13, 2010
The Chronicles Of Narnia- The Voyage Of Dawn Treader is a good movie but not a great one. It is actually the third book of CS Lewis Narnia series of books that has been made into a movie. The first was The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe and the second was Prince Caspian from a couple of years ago. Michael Apted directs this third film. There are some shots in this movie that are absolutely incredible.    The visual aspect of the film is the strongest thing about it. There is …
review by . December 10, 2010
This is a Voyage Worth Taking.
Just in time for the holidays, the third chapter in the highly successful Narnia series sails onto big screens with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley reprise their roles as Edmund and Lucy Pevensie. The film opens in England during World War II and focuses the young siblings are waiting out the war with relatives, while their older siblings are across the Atlantic in America. Constantly berated and harassed by their cousin Eustace, played with convincing brattiness …
review by . December 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
So there I was, sitting in my seat at the theater awaiting the start of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” the third film in the series. As I tore open the plastic bag containing a set of 3D glasses, I came to a worrying realization: Although I remembered greatly enjoying the previous “Narnia” film, “Prince Caspian,” I had by now forgotten just about everything concerning the plot and the characters. Would that mean I would be lost watching …
review by . January 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' Somewhat Miraculously Gives Us the Best of Both Worlds
I should get my biases out of the way:  I am a big 'Narnia' fan, both of the books, and, so far, of the movies.  The best measuring stick that the latter is up to par as a medium is to determine whether or not the celluloid versions provide a fluid and engaging adventure, and, if the movie offering retains a good measure of charm the books elicit.      Now for 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,' there seemed to be plenty of both.  'Prince …
Quick Tip by . December 22, 2010
The third film in The Chronicles of Narnia is a departure from its previous installments. The series has a new director and a new studio. This means that there is a distinct shift in focus from action and visual effects to adventure and characterization. Despite numerous deviations from C.S. Lewis' novel, I really enjoyed the third Narnia film and found this to be a great improvement over 2008's Prince Caspian. The director and screenwriters have wisely chosen to abridge the novel and modify …
About the reviewer
Swadhi Ranganee ()
Member Since: Jun 26, 2010
Last Login: Jul 11, 2013 02:21 PM UTC
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Wiki

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is an upcoming 3D fantasy-adventure film based on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third published novel in C.S. Lewis's epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia. It is third in The Chronicles of Narnia film series from Walden Media. It will be distributed by 20th Century Fox, the first in the series not to be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and the first to be released in 3D.

 The two younger Pevensies, Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley), are staying with their cousin Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter). They find themselves drawn into a painting of an old ship, where they join the new King of Narnia, King Caspian (Ben Barnes).

The film will premiere on November 30, 2010 in Digital 3D at the Royal Film Performance and will have its wide theatrical release in traditional 2D, RealD 3D and Digital 3D in the United States on December 10, 2010.
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Details

Director: Michael Apted
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Release Date: December 10, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 115 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox, Walden Media
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