Monday, 19 August 2013

'Epic' Film Review

From Blue Sky Studios (creators of Rio and Ice Age) comes Epic, a fascinating tale inside the world of the forest and all its inhabitants. Whilst the trailer reminds me deeply of Studio Ghibli's 'Arrietty', 'Epic' brings is an original and visually stunning movie.

When Mary Katherine (MK)'s mother dies, she moves in with her mad scientist father, Professor Bomba, who lives by the forest, researching little Leafmen he believes exist all around them. As it is near time for the Queen of the forest, Tara, to pick an heir from a bed of buds, Bomba is incredibly busy trying to track the Leafmen, neglecting MK. 

The evil within the forest, the Boggans, launch an attack on the Leafmen, preventing the spawn of a forest heir. Just as MK has had enough and decides to leave, she discovers the Leafmen and mysteriously shrinks to their size, witnessing the death of the queen. With the forest in the midst of war, MK must follow the queen's dying instructions to protect the chosen bud and do what she must to make it spawn.

The first thing to notice is how beautifully the forest is treated and the wonderful details of the trees and flowers. The world that is created is immersive and wonderful. What's more, the transformation of these organisms to living beings is to praise, producing natural and original characters that are cute and likeable. Many times throughout the movie, we go 'wow' at the way the environment looks and reacts.

Also, as the two sides represent good and evil, the visuals for each are also polarising and in that way, offer a thematic and visual distinction between the two, one dark and deathly, the other green and full of life.

Plot wise, it follows a generally linear direction with a few offshoots and detours which give the story a greater complexity. Several times, I wondered how the movie would progress. This added depth works well in this mysterious world where things are not as they seem. 

The relationships and characters are also well developed, with some relatable dynamics that will appeal to most viewers. Father son, father daughter, lovers, friends... everyone is included!

As the story reaches a climax, there is a peak of adrenaline and action in a conclusive and thrilling sequence, followed by an appropriate and pacy resolve. The ending was sweet but not too cheesy.

Colin Farrell- Ronin
Josh Hutcherson - Nod
Beyonce Knowles- Queen Tara
Pitbull- Bufo
Jason Sudeikis- Bomba
Amanda Seyfried- Mary Katherine

As I didn't really like Ice Age and Rio, I was skeptical about how good this movie would be given who made it, but it was definitely worth the watch. The beautiful and original settings, with likeable characters, matched with a strong plot and diverse relationship themes make this my personal favourite animation of the Summer, over Disney Pixar's Monster's University.

For children and adults alike- GO SEE THIS MOVIE!

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