Nod (Josh Hutcherson) and M.K. (Amanda Seyfried) do battle against the evil Mandrake (Christopher Waltz) in Epic.

Nod (Josh Hutcherson) and M.K. (Amanda Seyfried) do battle against the evil Mandrake (Christopher Waltz) in Epic.

Reel Reviews: Family film is a wee less than epic

Epic is a little fuzzy, but completely safe for all ages.

  • Jun. 2, 2013 9:00 a.m.

After the loss of her mother, Mary Katherine or M.K. (voiced by Amanda Seyfried) is sent to live with her eccentric scientist father, Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis).

The professor has spent his entire professional life attempting to prove the existence of a tiny woodland society.

When woodland Queen Tara (Beyonce Knowles) accidentally shrinks M.K. down to their size, she finds herself swept up in an adventure to save a world, without even knowing if she can get back to her own.

Epic 3D is a film adapted from William Joyce’s book The Leaf Men.

We say, “It’s a little fuzzy, but completely safe for all ages.”

TAYLOR: Last Christmas we had Rise of the Guardians. Now we have Epic. They are very different films in many ways.

Guardians was dark, sharp, hard and cold, scary even (for wee ones.)

Epic is soft and fuzzy, golden sunshine, green grass.

Over the years, William Joyce has helped create some classic animated characters in films like Toy Story. He produced Robots and a couple of TV shows. He’s written award winning children’s books and now two movies. Yet despite him having classic mythical legends or creatures of his own design, I find his stories dull. Fine for kids, no bad messages, but Zzzzz…

HOWE: I agree and disagree with you. Rise of the Guardians was one of the best animated story lines I have seen in a long time. As for Epic, I was nearly nodding off after 15 minutes or so. We saw the trailer for this early last year so I was expecting something special. It wasn’t. It was so slow, the voices didn’t seem to suit the characters. It felt like he pinched stories from all over the place and just threw them together: Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, you get the idea. But let’s ask someone a little younger what they thought.

FENIN: I liked the slug and the snail. They were very funny.

HOWE: That’s it?

FENIN: Yep.

TAYLOR: I noticed there was a lot of fidgeting and talking in the theatre. Perhaps even the little folk were bored, at least in parts. It’s not that Epic is a bad movie, it’s just that the characters, locations and situations aren’t enough to pull the audience in, make them care. When you add the phoney 3D aspect of the forest, you’re left with one person, in focus in a wash of fuzzy green. After a while it starts to make my brain hurt. I didn’t enjoy the look of this film at all.

HOWE: Don’t let the title fool you, it’s not epic. We had a choice of three movies last week and I chose this one because I thought my little boy would enjoy it. I wish I had taken him swimming or done something different now, I think he would have enjoyed it more.

— Taylor gives Epic 2.5 hummingbird saddles out of 5.

— Howe gives it 1.5 scrolls out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are freelance movie reviewers, based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews with Taylor and Howe, runs every Friday and Sunday in The Morning Star.