When a studio decides to name its movie “Epic”, you would wonder if it’s just self-indulgence or it’s their goal for their project. By naming your movie with a word that imbibes the notion of greatness, people will instantly have high expectations: Expectations that you better be prepared to meet. Let’s see…
Visually, Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age and Rio) did a good enough job capturing the magnificence of the lush forest and all its wonders. It’ll make the young and old alike wish they live in a cottage in the middle of the jungle so they could bear witness to the beauty of nature. As a kiddy film, they made sure it was easy to distinguish bad from good just by looking at the colors: Dark and Gray equals Bad, Lively Colors equals Good.
The voice actors were fittingly casted, particularly Colin Farrell (General Ronin) as the brave but stoic warrior, Josh Hutcherson (Nod) as a hard-headed orphan, and Amanda Seyfried (M.K) as a teenager who is stuck in the middle of war. A bit of comic relief were provided by the Slug and Snail pals Mub and Grub, voiced by two great comedians: Aziz Ansari and Chris O’Dowd. Two internationally-renowned singers also graced this movie with their non-singing but certainly believable voice acting: Steven Tyler as Nim Galuu and Beyonce Knowles as Queen Tara. Although in my opinion, Christoph Waltz playing the main antagonist on this movie should stick to live action.
Despite the actors and the setting, the film lacked the oomph that could have made Epic truly an epic film. It lacked the visceral story-telling that makes a story memorable. Given that the plot is supposed to be predictable because it’s meant to be digested by fourth or fifth graders but the scenes could have been executed better. It was mediocre at best. The script-writing could use an overhaul. Aside from the lines of the sexy narcissist slug, Mub, the script seemed like it was written for a school play. And the romantic angle to the film is quite unnecessary. M.K and Nod falling in an infatuation after a ride on a deer is not really a good plot for romance… or maybe that’s just me.
Epic is a film that even the kids will find boring after the first few minutes. Let me put it this way: When I go watch an animated film, I usually hear laughter and muffled screams inside the theater. It was silent all throughout the film. For a kiddy film, the reaction of the kids matter. In this case, the film fell short in inciting any. Epic FAIL in my book.