If you can find it, watch it. But if you can’t find it, you aren’t going to miss much.
MOVIE RATING: Borrow/Rental
While an aspect of this film did intrigue me, I can honestly say that I was reluctant to watch Epic. Not for anything inherently bad I saw in the film, as the trailer revealed almost nothing about the plot (outside of the standard shrinking human trope), but rather the fact that I have become fed up with the Ferngully-Ant Bully style story. However upon seeing the film, I am surprisingly pleased.
Epic is based William Joyce’s children’s book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. It is the story of M.K., a 17 year old who is estranged from her father. Through a series of events, she finds herself drawn into the middle of a war between the guardians of the forest, the Leafmen, and their mortal enemies, Boggans.
As stated previously, I had very low expectations for this movie. It seemed like the usual “humans are evil/protect the environment” story that has become cliche in modern entertainment. But surprisingly there are only two humans in the entire story, M.K. and her father. Instead the film goes out of its way to state that the forest is able to protect itself through the Leafmen, which is a nice change of pace.
Almost all the voice actors do a marvelous job, in particular Christoph Waltz as Mandrake, the Boggan leader, and Colin Farrell as the commander of the Leafmen, Ronin. In fact Ronin and Queen Tara are so good in this movie that I found myself more interested in their story than that of M.K.. I honestly would prefer a prequel to this movie focusing on Ronin, Tara, and Nod’s father.
Nod’s father, however, brings up a major problem with this movie. There are a lot of things going on and we are (like M.K.) thrown right in the middle of it all. The problem is that much of the background information is oftentimes either far more interesting than the actual narrative, like Nod’s father or Professor Bomba’s past, or too vague or quickly glossed to be effective, like M.K. and Nod’s “romance”, if you can call it that.
There was a lot of problems with this film, but it is better than I expected. With a complex mythology that is honestly more interesting than the actual film narrative, I feel that if a sequel or prequel better used the unique atmosphere, there could be something really great here.
That being said, I do think that Epic is worth a watch. But I would wait until the price goes down before I bought a ticket.
MOVIE RATING: Check It Out
To ensure continued and unique content for both It’s Tail Time and Phoenix 8 Productions, I have decided to do written reviews of new theatrical releases that I see. Cinema in Review will be reserved for older films available on DVD.