Friday, June 29, 2012

The Golden Compass (Chris Weitz, 2007) Review

Ok, I'm fine with adaptations. They are sometimes the best films aroudn but if you want to...MAKE SURE YOU GET THE TITLE RIGHT! Yes, I know the book Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman is known as The Golden Compass in America but...this isn't America. Localisation...GET IT RIGHT! Anyway, it is an adaptation of Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman and considering it was a popular book series it only made sense to make a film of it. It worked for Harry Potter so does it hold up? Let's find out.

Set in an alternate universe where people are accompanied by animal companions known as Daemons (made up of their owners souls), the film focuses on an orphan girl named Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards) and her daemon Pantalaimon (Freddie Highmore). Meanwhile, Lyra's uncle Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig) is leaving on an expedition to study a substance that has come from another world known simply as 'Dust'. After Lyra meets Marisa Coulter (Nicole Kidman) who decides to take Lyra with her as her assistant. Prior to the events of the film, children have been disappearing and are being taken by creatures known as gobblers and Lyra and her friend Roger (Ben Walker) agree that if ever one of them is taken, the other must rescue them (may or may not be foreshadowing). 

If I took away one thing from this film, it would be the epic fight between Iorek Brynison and Ragnar Sturlusson (two polar bear daemons). Why? Because they are voiced by Ian McKellen and Ian McShane. It's the fight of the Ian Mcs! Just throw in Ian McNeice and Ian McDiarmid and you'll have on hell of an epic Ian Mc showdown. You actually may have noticed that the thing I like the most is just on scene...that's because it is. The Golden Compass is an average film. Sure the cast is great and it looks pretty good, the story and characters don't seem to work as well in the film version as they did in the books.

I was impressed by the cast of the film.considering it's sub-par reception and that fact that it's an average film. Why is it when a film that's based on a book I want to be made always wind up not doing well. It's A Series of Unfortunate Events all over again. With a line up like Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman as well as the voices of Ian McKellen and Freddie Highmore, I was wondering how this could fail? Nicole Kidman, I will admit, was pretty good in this film but the rest of the cast seems forgettable...

The Golden Compass was universally rated average and I can see why. It moves at a snails pace and gets boring quickly and considering the acting is 'okay' I wouldn't say this is an essential film. I say they rinse it off and reboot it...with Eragon considering that was adapted too but was even worse than this was. If you want a great story, read the books instead, they are great but try to avoid this film...or at the most watch it once. 

An average adaptation of a great book. It's just too slow for my liking and it's a waste of great talent.

1 comment:

  1. This and Spider-Man 2 are my most popular reviews at this point...Wah?