I had earlier written about the two previous Chronicles of Narnia movies where I praised The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and had grudging praise for Pince Caspian. As I said then, Prince Caspian had departed from CS Lewis’ epic story in some key ways, but Dawn Treader had a new director and promised to hold to CS Lewis’ vision.
The promise was shattered. Not broken, but shattered. Absolutely, beyond repair shattered.
Dawn Treader’s screenplay authors, whoever the minions may be, absolutely destroyed the story from beginning to end.
I had hoped to watch the movie in a theatre to get the full effect of Lewis’ story on a massive screen. I’m glad to report I did not get the opportunity to see this disgrace in the theatres.
What the writers got right:
Names of primary characters
Names of some of the primary places
That’s just about it.
What the writers came close to almost getting right:
The last 15 minutes of the movie
What the writers got wrong:
Everything, and I do mean everything.
If you watch the movie without having ever read CS Lewis’ books, you would consider the movie to be fifth-rate with third-rate special effects and with a couple top-rate actors. But if you watch the movie having read CS Lewis’ books, you will have to rivet yourself to your seat in order to get through the first ten minutes of the movie. And the viewing doesn’t get any easier from there.
The only saving grace is in the acting of the major characters, namely Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, and Georgie Hensley. Will Poulter as Eustace does yeoman’s work but he’s still second-rate at best. It is the story that needs to sell the movie, and for CS Lewis fans, the story is of ultimate importance. And the story is a total disaster because the director and the screenplay writers refused to follow the book.
For those who haven’t seen the movie, save your money. For those who spent their money to watch this flop, my condolences. I just got done watching this flop and I feel your pain.
Georgie Henley has a bright future ahead of her with her acting. I expect to see her in a few top-rated movies in the near future. Skandar Keynes and Ben Barnes should have such luck. Oh, they’re skilled enough from my perspective, but let’s face facts. A leading lady has more opportunities at successful roles (where quality matters over blow-it-up-idness) than does a leading man. Especially at their ages.
But back to Dawn Treader. If you haven’t spent your money, save it. Wait till it comes on TV on Fox at 8PM some Wednesday evening or something. It’s not worth paying a farthing to watch. And CS Lewis is spinning in his grave.