Movie Review: Epic (3D)

 

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Based on the William Joyce children’s book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bug,  Epic is a tale of love, family, friendship and the eternal struggle between good and evil.

Mary Katherine (Seyfried), or MK as she prefers to be known, is 17 years old and having just lost her mother, arrives to live with her eccentric father, Professor Bomba (Sudeikis). Bomba is obsessed with the idea that the local forest is home to a race of tiny, fairy like people and his entire life is consumed with the notion. One day he fails to return home from a day in the forest and MK sets out to look for him.

These tiny people are, in fact, the guardians of the forest and today is a special day. It is the only day in 100 years that the forest Queen (Knowles) can select a new Queen. How a new Queen is chosen is a secret but it does involve a very special pod that must be bought to bathe in the solstice moonlight.

The evil Boggans also want the pod.  Their leader Mandrake (Waltz) leads his evil minions on a quest through the forest to retrieve it, leaving utter devastation in their wake. You see, the Boggans are all that is rotten and decaying in the forest and only the Queen can restore what they destroy.

When MK stumbles across the injured Queen, she is shrunk to their tiny size and finds herself in charge of protecting the pod on its journey to visit the keeper of the forest stories, Nim Galuu (Tyler). Only he knows how to protect the pod and the forest’s new Queen.

 

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The most wonderful thing about this movie is the visuals. Now, we are pretty spoiled these days when it comes to animated movies but this one is truly spectacular. The forest plants and its tiny inhabitants are breath-taking. From the soft webbing on a dragonfly’s wing to the gentle rippling liquid of a forest pond, every detail is meticulously brought to animated life. Personally, I feel more thought could have been put into the more human forest creatures…. The Queen, Ronin the Queens chief bodyguard and Nod for example….. but it was not enough to detract from the overall impact of the forest and it’s inhabitants.

The story was engaging with a very modern eco-warrior tone. The evil Boggans brought decay and rot and death to everything they touched and only the good and beloved Queen could undo the damage. Protecting the new pod Queen was of the utmost importance to saving not only the forest but all of us. Very much a ‘ butterfly flapping it’s wings in the Amazon’  kind of interconnectivity.

There is a mild flirtation between MK and Nod (Hutcherson) that is very sweet and innocent. The more worldly slug Mub, to the bemusement of his drily sarcastic comic sidekick Grub, tries his very best to entice MK. Mub and Grub provide genuine laughs throughout and expect the kids to latch onto the ‘ugly say what? ‘ joke 😉

This movie is lovely. While it lacks that secondary grown up winking kind of humour I have come to expect from movies of this genre, the movie fares well on its own. The kids at my screening loved it and seem captivated for the duration, which is, if we are all honest, what it’s really all about. I am not a fan of 3D but this really is worth seeing in the format to truly realise the creator’s vision. So grab the kids, old and young, put your 3D glasses on and go see this movie.

Thank you to Event Cinemas Glendale for your hospitality….

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Director : Chris Wedge

Starring : Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Jason Sudeikis, Beyonce Knowles, Steven Tyler, Christoph Waltz, Chris O’Dowd, Aziz Ansari

Running Time : 102 minutes

Release Date : In Cinemas Now

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