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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (****)
directed by Michael Apted
written by Christopher Marcus, Stephen McFeely, and Michael Petroni, from the book by C.S. Lewis
Principal Cast
Georgie Henley -- Lucy Pevensie
Skandar Keynes -- Edmund Pevensie
Ben Barnes -- Caspian
Will Poulter -- Eustace Scrubb
Gary Sweet -- Drinian
Terry Norris -- Lord Bern
Bruce Spence -- Lord Rhoop
Bille Brown -- Coriakin
Laura Brent -- Lilliandil
Colin Moody -- Auctioneer
Tilda Swinton -- The White Witch
Ratings
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader I loved this film. The weight of critical opinion says it's the weakest of the Narnia series. I liked it best. Other reviewers found it uninvolving. I cried. Some critics complained that the characters were cardboard. I loved the characters, especially Eustace and Reepicheep and the relationship between them.

Two of the writers, Christopher Marcus and Stephen McFeely, also worked on the scripts of the first two Narnia films and are writing the upcoming Captain America movie, with a little help from Joss Whedon.

So, who won't like this movie? First, Narnia purists. It is true to the spirit of the book, but takes great liberties with the plot. I think those changes are for the better. Unlike the second movie, which invented a long episode in the middle that did not advance the story, this third film combines several episodes and rearranges them to make a tighter plot. This is not to say that the movie is better than the book -- after all, C.S. Lewis is one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time. But for a movie, the changes are an improvement.

People who love "realistic" movies, like The Kids Are All Right, won't like Dawn Treader. I, on the other hand couldn't sit through The Kids Are All Right. It was too liberal for me, and I'm proud to be a flaming liberal. But enough is enough. I like ice cream, but I don't put sugar on top. The Kids Are All Right was so liberal it made my teeth hurt. Dawn Treader isn't liberal at all.

Christians will probably like Dawn Treader. At the end of the film, Lewis's Christianity is close to the surface. The other Narnia movies buried Christianity pretty deep, I assume to avoid offending anyone. If you're going to make a movie based on a Christian book, you should make a Christian movie. If you don't want to do that, you should film some other book.

And people who like dragons will probably like The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Let me know if you liked it. Did this movie just touch a soft spot in my heart, or are the critics wrong about this one?

Copyright © 2011 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.


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