The third entry in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ series, and with the first two films being enjoyable and entertaining, the third film is a mixed bag.
The film starts off as Edmund tries to enlist for the Army, however he is too young to join. Edmund and Lucy are now staying over at their cousins place, however when Narnia needs them, they are transported from a painting of a ship, as they enter the magical world of Narnia. All aboard King Caspian’s ship for a swashbuckling adventure.
The franchise starts to feel tiring with this entry, which is hard for me to write as I love the Narnia world, and the first two films. ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ lacks substance, and what I mean is that the story is much unfocused and all over the place. Instead, the film feels like smaller side quests, until we get to delve into the eventual plot arc of the film, fifty minutes in.
It’s great to see more exploration from Edmund and Lucy, and the acting from Georgie Henley who portrays Lucy continues to be the film’s stand-out among the cast, as she seems to be having fun with this world the most and makes certain scenes, like her desire to be beautiful like her older sister Susan, believable which makes me believe that this world exists.
However, I found the character of Eustace far too annoying, and while that is the point of the character, don’t make him overly obnoxious. There is a balance you can strike, without having the character too annoying to watch on the screen. An example is Vanellope in ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ as she starts off slightly annoying, but when she gets picked on from the other Sugar Rush game characters and finding a connection with Ralph as they are both isolated from the rest of the pack, it transforms the character from annoying to a heartfelt character that you, oddly enough, get emotional towards in that film’s final act. Here, Eustace never gives a moment to like this place, still finding everything crazy and everyone around him delusional. Uh, you are in Narnia for a day, I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t a dream, and that this world you are in is currently real. How about talk to your royal cousins? His character does transform, however since he doesn’t talk, it is a bit harder to convey his emotions as a character that we’ve seen human for half of the film. I don’t blame the acting, but maybe the writing towards Eustace.
While ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ has some good acting performances and the visuals can be nice to look at, the film’s story is messy and unfocused, with the smaller plot arcs detouring the film’s search of the missing seven swords, like did we really need Lucy to make the Dufflepuds visible? It doesn’t do much to the overall story, with the exception of Lucy finding the beauty spell, which doesn’t really go anywhere either.
‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ is a bit of a disappointing sequel to an otherwise stellar and magical franchise.