Christmas Movies II

film 3 of 25

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 9, 2015

What have they done with that tender little book? Where did the director of the sublime Amazing Grace (and the Up series!) go? Lewis’s reflective and theological bits are replaced by noise and tumult, especially as regarding Eustace/the dragon. Aslan’s intervention was the whole point of that episode, and the high point of the whole book. Where did it go? Instead of private reproof and reclamation—he’s only a kid, after all—we get a dragon all the way to the end, defeating a fear-summoned sea monster. What?! It’s either commercial cowardice, tin ears, or the aesthetic obliviousness of the sponsoring Christians.

To give credit where it’s due, the kid who plays Eustace is quite tremendous. He creates an obnoxious character who is also very funny—a tough combination. Also, whether by happy design or with stumbling dumb luck, the story does temptation and repentance very well. It goes so far as to explore the types pertaining to Christ’s temptation. There are the boys, drawn by appetite or pre-eminence, and there is the girl, doubting her worthiness. While under the influence of these temptations they are pretty well incapable of anything else. Once delivered, what a phantom it all seems!

I liked the wave effect at the end very much.