Skip to comments.Just Saw "Narnia"...it Sucked
Posted on 12/27/2005 11:28:47 AM PST by Bob J
After reading all the hype in the media and on FR, I was excited to see the film of the CS Lewis book. I have to say I was disappointed. For all it's grandiosity and provenance, I found it clunky, sometimes difficult to follow and worse, unbelieveable (even a "fantasy" movie must reasonable enough in the story and behavior of it's characters to hurdle the initial "willing suspension of disbelief")
The religious basis and backdop to the story has been argued at length on FR, so let's leave that at the doorstep and discuss it's cinematic achievements, or lack thereof.
This may have been why I had a problem with the movie. After the presentation of the premise and the characters, I found myslef resisting acceptance that an entire fantasy world filled with magic, mythologic creatures, witches, generals and armies was waiting for a four small children to come and save their world....by prophecy and design. It would have been more believeable if they happened into the world by accident and through clever plot twists were responsible for the salvation of Narnia. But there was nothing really special about these kids, no ancestors with a special connection/knowledge to Narnia, no special abilities, expertise or talents, They were not exceptional in any way...they were just kids. Why did the land of Narnia need them? They added nothing that wasn't already there and in fact detracted from it.
The setup took far too long. I wasn't watching my watch but it must have taken over 20-30 minutes for the first kid to walk out the back of the wardrobe closet into the land of Narnia. I didn't understand the emphasis placed on this part of the book as it had little to do with subsequent events. Did it matter that much to the story that the the kids were sent off to the professor because their mother was concerned about the danger of WWII? There was a passing reference later about being shipped off to avoid the effects of war only to be dropped in the middle of the war in Narnia (and whether they should get involved at all), but it fell limply to the ground.
Ouch. Let's go by the numbers.
The Professor and his maid (?).
Good cop bad cop. The maid is stern, the professor, kind. So what? The movie feints toward this professor knowing more about Narnia and the wardrobe, but it leaves it there. You think he is going to add some specific knowledge or experience that the kids might benefit from (if not be involved himself) but they movie drops it and he becomes a useless figure in the overall plot. Why waste screen time on it?
Lucy - A typical, precocious, British eight year old. The most likeable character in the movie (which might not be saying much) but I grow weary of the English tendancy to cast their child characters beyond their years. I had three "laugh" moments in this movie, two concerning her. First, when she hits the bullseye with her magic "knife" and then when she "flashes it" and heads off to vanquish the armies of evil. A real laugher.
Susan - The most annoying, negative character in the movie. At first I made parallels to Wendy from "Peter Pan, but you believed Wendy was concerned about the younger children while Susan comes off as a party killing shrew. They needed to soften this character but didn't. Throughout most of the movie I kept wondering when she was going to use those damn arrows...had to wait until the last 2 minutes and by then it was anticlimatic.
Edmund - The anti-hero who becomes hero. I busted out laughing (third instance) when they put he and his brother in those stupid looking suits of armor. We are asked to believe this 10 and 14 year old are going to take part in a "Braveheart" type battle with huge warriors and mythological creatures and vanquish all? I might have believed it if they were given extrahuman strength, speed and agility. Even with their magic "implements" the battle scenes with these two were comical. Think of William Wallace in a sword fight with Doogie Howser.
Peter - Peter is supposed to be the 14 year old hero of the story, protecting his siblings while winding their way through the dangers of a mystical kingdom. The residents of Narnia wait for his arrival to lead their armies of druids and gargoyles againt the forces of evil in a final battle of epic proportions and historic finality. Sorry. Through the first 4/5ths of the movie Peter comes off as an effeminate British girlie boy and it is too much to ask the audience to believe he is the saviour of Narnia. Why would they want or need him?
The Witch - Huh? Tilda Swinson does comes off as an evil bitch but I never did beleive she, or anyone, would want to be the King or Queen of Narnia. It would be like Sauron of Moldor and his legions of Orks waging an epic battle for the control of The Shire. Snooze.
That's my nutshell of a take. If you ave seen narnia and would like to comment, feel free to do so but let's keep it clean.
LOTR just exceeded my expectations. I didn't think they could pull it off.
OK. He's walking off to get killed. OK. Next scene.
Is there a four-hour director's cut coming?
Narnia film ping.
He won't read them, so it doesn't matter.
Everyone in Hollywood is homosexual. That is why all the movies are about homosexuals.
No hero's means zero boxoffice.
Make that four kids.
The plot and behavior of characters were not believeable...one would expect fantasy characters in a fantasy movie.
I'll tell you why it didn't do well. Most reviews were not very positive (other than Michael Medved) because it had, as its underlying theme, the idea that life was valuable (think stem cell research)and the concept of using live people as donors is wrong. There were no homosexuals or deviants in whom they could rejoice! just MHO.
"OK. He's walking off to get killed. OK. Next scene."
Garden of Gethsemane reference.
not sure if anyone said this or not but
DO NOT GO SEE FAMILY STONE.........
it was Holiwood agenda all the way.......... It was disgusting.
A black interratial gay couple with a hearing problem adopts a child. the mom has breast cancer, the brother sleeps with the other brother's girlfriend. YOU NAME it Holi_WEIRD put it in the show.. AGENDA FILLED!
The witch reminded me of the female senator from New York.
I don't think they did a good job setting up the characters. In Potter and LOTR I think they did a better job establishing why the characters do the things they do later in the movie. I didn't believe these kids would become the Kings and Queens of Narnia, not, that the denizons of Narnia would want or need them.
I know you are sharing info with BobJ, but I really appreciate it too. Both my girls are avid Narnia fans, discovered them in college.
As a LOTR fan... no flames here. People like movies or they don't. Your opinion of it doesn't need to affect mine.
But with regard to the hype: A good measure of the hype about it was justified, inasmuch as LOTR is one of the oldest of the classic stories that had never been made into a movie (apart from a disastrous animated attempt that was never finished). LOTR had been for decades the holy grail of unmakable movies. It was too long, too involved, but most of all technically impossible to do without butchering the story.
That the technical advances finally made the movie possible to do made it that much more anticipated. It was... the long-awaited party.
Well Bob, turn up the hearing aid when you go to see Polar Express, even then you might not hear the sleigh bells ringing.
I like to watch with the Wife, Kids and Grand Kids who enjoy every moment, and so did I.
All the best
Kid's book? Kid's movie?
Darn, here I took the kids and enjoyed the movie myself.
Some people need to just relax and go with the flow. Kick back and enjoy the show. The original poster sounds like he's related to the housekeeper.
We saw it, too, and were impressed with its pro-life message. I wasn't' surprised that it did so poorly at the box office, but rather that it could get made in the first place.