Alrighty then, time to talk about Epic. The latest big animated film from Blue Sky Studios, the animation studio who make films that look very similar to Dreamworks. Anyways before this film came out everyone was talking about it and said it was gonna be some really hot stuff in 2013, so I had a look yesterday to see what the deal was. So what it good or bad? Well read on and find out!
So the story in this film follows Mary Katherine (a.k.a. M.K.), a teenager who goes to live with her estranged father in a house in the forest. Her father is obsessed with the concept of their being a race of miniaturized people living in the forest. M.K. thinks her father is crazy but by through a serious of events she finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil is taking place. She teams up with a group of people from the good side to save the forest.
The story in this film should feel familiar for anyone of my generation or older, what we’re getting in this film is in the same vein as Ferngully and Avatar. The concept of there being a small society of mini people existing in the same world as humans is cool and the explanations for why we can’t see them and how they move are pretty smart too, however the rest of its execution wasn’t that good. I feel like there was a lot of drama in the film but it was cancelled out by moments of humour that really didn’t fit in the movie that well. Also there was one thing that happened that I prayed wouldn’t go down but it did and this a partial spoiler by the way… FRIGGING M.K. AND NOD KISS IN THE FILM! WHY? Now granted in this film these things are bound to happen but there needs to be a little build up before hand, there needs to be chemistry and room for the potential relationship to grow. But hell in this film these two go from being casually mates to frigging lovers at the end of the film! There are hints at them being interested in each other but not to that degree. I’m really tired of relationships be shoe-horned into films that don’t require it. Argh! Okay mini rant over, moving on…
As for the characters in this film they were a mixed bag of some nice characters to people I didn’t care about. Let’s start with Amanda Seyfried as Mary Katherine. Argh her character was annoying, while i could understand her background and shock of being shrunk down into this small new world, at the same time she seems to lack a bit of common sense, moans about a lot of time and for a main character she was a bit dull for me. Josh Hutcherson as Nod was another one of those annoying characters in the sense that he was reckless and didn’t want to answer to anyone. He has skills that makes him cool but it doesn’t matter if his character is very likable and I didn’t like him at all. then there’s Colin Farrell as Ronin, now this is the first character I actually cared about. Ronin has focus, he’s awesome, assertive and kicks a lot of ass and that’s something I appreciate in a character. Beyoncé Knowles also makes an appearance as Queen Tara, her character wasn’t in the film as much as I thought she’d be and while she was a decent character she wasn’t around long enough to leave an impression.
Christoph Waltz as Mandrake, the leader of the Boggans was pretty good. When I heard his lines in the trailers he sounded so cheesy and stupid but luckily in this film it wasn’t nearly as bad. As a bad guy he was alright but he didn’t have too much of a scary presence and that was disappointing for me. Also Jason Sudeikis as Professor Bomba was good as the father, though because of his obsessive nature over his work it made his character hard to stand at times. Aziz Ansari as Mub was alright, most of his lines were joke-based and while some were good, others fell right flat but hey his character was better than Nod so that’s something. Chris O’Dowd as Grub was funny, I could literally just see Roy from The IT Crowd so I liked his character the entire time.
The one successful element that works in Epic‘s favor is the presentation. Visually the game looks good, it does have some moments of true beauty and looks really realistic with the good use of lighting, colour and detail. However there are a few cartoony aspects about the film that break the visual flow and clash with the realism. There is a big sense of realism but it is offset by the cartoonish style that the film adopts from time to time, the blend between cartoonish and realistic styles in this film doesn’t flow like a Pixar or Dreamworks film and it felt like both styles were fighting each other. At least when it came to the action it was very dynamic and had a good use of camera angles.
In conclusion I expecting great things from Epic unfortunately it turned to be not nearly as ‘epic’ as the name suggests. It is a good film for kids and families but the end product feels unoriginal and average. For those looking for something a little more impressive you may want to look elsewhere, Mark Kermode said it best in his review where he stated, the film connects with your eyes but not your heart like a really good animation does.
Rating: 6/10 (It looks great,but that’s the only great thing about the film)
So what did you think of Epic? Did you love it or was it just another okay animated film for you? Whatever your thoughts drop in the comments section below and I’ll see ya later on people! 😀