Epic

Epic photo starrating-2stars.jpgI have officially reached my limit of dull computer animated films. There needs to be more than just pretty CGI to hold my attention. Epic is the latest from the “creative” minds at Blue Sky Studios who brought us Ice Age.  A questionable achievement, but a downright masterpiece when compared to this utterly nondescript piece. The plot concerns an ordinary-size teen girl who is magically shrunken down into a secret world when she grabs a hold of a magical leaf pod. She’s subsequently thrust into an ongoing environmental conflict amongst various forest creatures who struggle to see who can become the most forgettable. Sorry sarcasm.

An hour after watching Epic, it was already fading from memory. The cast is made up of famous actors that turn in vapid voice work in exchange for a paycheck. Colin Farrell and Beyoncé Knowles are major stars. They charm in real life, but their voices are so bland here. The leader of the Leaf-Men and Queen of the Forest should be captivating, but their personalities only cause drowsiness. Don’t drive or operate heavy machinery under the effects of this movie. Aziz Ansari and Chris O’Dowd are a slug and snail respectively, but they should’ve been listed as hackneyed sidekick characters #1 and #2. They’re the comic relief but I didn’t hear a single child laugh in my theater. I suppose the script is the actual culprit.

This generic tale of good vs. evil  has been done countless times with more innovation and appeal. The story is lackluster in the extreme. Couldn’t the screenwriters have tried a little harder to come up with something interesting? The best lesson they can come up with is: “Many leaves, one tree; we’re all individuals, but we’re still connected.” Zzzzzzzz. It’s a shame because what the film does have going for it is gorgeous computer graphics. The animators have done a beautiful job giving zest to a script that has none. Epic won’t entertain adults and will leave kids wanting more. Children know a quality adventure when they see one and this ain’t it. You cannot foist a subpar saga on them and expect a hit. Not surprisingly, out of 8 productions, this became Blue Sky’s worst performing feature by a wide margin. It didn’t even recoup its $100M production budget in the U.S. Epic is neither majestic nor grand. It’s about as far from the word’s connotation as you can get. The most glaringly mistitled movie since The LAST Exorcism Part II.

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12 Responses to “Epic”

  1. Good review! i know it is not a masterpiece but I sort of liked it. Kills time I suppose. 🙂

  2. “who struggle to see who can become the most forgettable.”

    LOL

    Great review Mark. You saw this one so that I didn’t need to.

  3. Great review, my friend. I mostly agree with you, but honestly think that Farrell did a decent job. At least compared to the other characters. I’ll be putting out my review on Saturday.

    • He wasn’t terrible, but I think the characters were so thinly written the vocal work doesn’t stand out. Not one performance impressed me. Look forward to your review.

  4. Yea it was ok. It looked absolutely amazing. I agree , Beyonce was awful but I thought Colin was fine. I give it 3 stars based on the look.

    • 3 stars would be a recommendation in my book and I can’t recommend this alongside achievements like Toy Story and Finding Nemo. I have to draw the line.

  5. Ahah, I actually like this more than Now You See Me. Not ‘epic’ by any means but quite entertaining w/ gorgeous visuals.

  6. “Don’t drive or operate heavy machinery under the effects of this movie.” Noted. I’m not sure I’ll bother with this one at all, but if I do, I’ll make sure not to operate anything while viewing.

    I share your contempt for boring animated films. I’m also equally tired of computer animated crap that studios keep churning out since it’s cheaper to pay celebrities for their voices than to use them in a action film. I see very few animated movies every year, and I’m only willing to give a select few a chance because my expectations are just so low with them.

    I think it’s funny that even the kids in your audience could tell how bad it was. That’s not a good sign.

    • So many animated films still to choose from this summer: Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, Turbo, Planes. Not sure which of these (if any) will stand the stand of time, but I suspect every single one of them will be better than Epic.

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