Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Not Very Epic
Think what you will of the Ice Age series, but I actually liked them, so I really had no qualm with the studio that made it. Nevertheless, I have constantly heard people put down the studio for whatever reason. Then again, other than Rio, the Ice Age films are the only movies I’ve really seen come from Blue Sky Studios, so I never really had anything else to compare it to. Rio, by the way, I actually also liked. So whether or not the trailer looked all that interesting, I still wanted to see what Epic was all about. That being said, I think Epic was Blue Sky Studio’s main downfall.
Out in the wilderness are tiny people, and Mary Katherine’s father (Jason Sudeikis) is onto them. The only problem was that his belief in the tiny people cost him his job and his wife, soon he would lose his daughter to the same obsession. Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried), or M.K. for short gets caught up in the midst when she is shrunk by the queen of the…leaf people. Basically, M.K.’s mission is to take a magical flower seed and protect it from the evil…rat people? They need to protect it because it holds the power of the forest, and keeps it alive. The rat people just want to take it for themselves, live in filth, and make sure everything that is now green turns grey and nasty.
Forget epic, this is just a public service announcement for green friendly enthusiasts. Honestly, there’s nothing epic about it. Sure, the good people are outmatched by the bad people, and there’s a little bit of a war near the end, but that’s not what makes something epic. Things are simply epic through good character development enough to care about the players and a true sense of danger. There was no sense of danger, and I’m sorry, but I really couldn’t have cared less about the characters. This was just about making sure forests stay healthy, and you know it. Leaf people…come on, they couldn’t have made it more clearly an environmental message movie if they tried.
That’s another thing, this is a kid’s movie, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that kids movies have tons of morals and lessons. Epic’s one and only moral standing clearly had to do with keeping a forest alive. Sure, there were other things at stake, like a father daughter relationship that is in trouble, but that is so dull because they ignore it for 80% of the film. The one part of the movie I actually enjoyed was before M.K. shrunk. Her and her father’s characters were people the audience could actually connect with and follow. I just can’t see anyone caring too deeply about little leaf people.
As with most animation flicks, this one had some really amazing visuals and animation. I wasn’t too keen on the 3D models of the characters specifically, but they were made in a way that felt natural to the intended tone. Unfortunately, that is the best thing I can really say about it. I was glad that it was pretty to look at, because that gave me a reason to keep watching, regardless of the fact that I was detached from the overall experience.
I do believe that there was some potential for the movie as a whole, but at the same time I think they botched that potential to pieces. Kids will probably like it, but as insensitive as it is to say, kids expectations aren’t very high to begin with. They’ll be entertained for hours sitting in a cardboard box…just saying. As for the title, I think the only reason this film was entitled Epic instead of something like “Little Warriors” was to look attractive. Oh, an epic movie, you say, old chap?
You can still catch Epic in select theaters, and it comes to Blu-Ray and DVD on Sept. 20!
::what others had to say::
“It’s an old-fashioned, good vs. the forces of evil, predictable and formulaic ride.” – Daniel’s Film Reviews
“it left me with a weird feeling that kids are going to be leaving this flick, thinking that you can find love anywhere, even if it is with tiny men, that battle-off insects in their spare-time.” – Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews
Not surprisingly, out of 8 productions, this became Blue Sky’s worst performing feature by a wide margin – Fast Film Reviews