Friday, June 7, 2013

An Epic review

The family went and watched "Epic" yesterday.  So here's my quick review.

All in all - pretty good.  I think it rises to being above average for what it isn't more than what it is.  Good action and threads of danger but not too dark; although my 4 y/o was slightly spooked by the bad guys.

The title is far reaching as it will not stand the test of time as an epic movie; but it does relate an epic event in the fairy world that we get to watch.

Teen-ish MK (Mary-Kate) is sent to live with her father after the death of her mother.  The mother and father split  due to the dad's obsession with chasing a fairy world.

So it turns out the fairyworld is real and there's an ongoing battle between the fairies who bring life to the forest and some forces that are seeking to bring decay.

Every 100 years the fairies anoint a new queen.  The selection ceremony is important and cannot take a shortcut for safety.  The leafmen guard forces try to be prepared but get overwhelmed by the decaybringers and MK is drawn into delivery the seedpod to complete the ceremony when it blooms under the full moon.

The story works well enough.  There are some well worn story elements - dead/missing parents, rebellious teen, etc; but they play okay.  There is some humor for various ages (physical and word humor).  I found the voice work to be good and fitting.

I think what lets this movie rise out of the sea of mediocrity is what it isn't.  It isn't a tree-hugger movie - Ferngully, Avatar.  This provided some good discussion on what a "tree hugger" movie is.  The decay of the world isn't the fault of humans.  Humans are not ignorantly wrecking everything or willfully wrecking everything.  It isn't a tale of children needing to teach their parents/elders - How to Train Your Dragon, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  It isn't moralizing. 

Fairyland is nothing but the sunny country of common sense. It is not earth that judges heaven, but heaven that judges earth; so for me at least it was not earth that criticised elfland, but elfland that criticised the earth. I knew the magic beanstalk before I had tasted beans; I was sure of the Man in the Moon before I was certain of the moon. This was at one with all popular tradition. Modern minor poets are naturalists, and talk about the bush or the brook; but the singers of the old epics and fables were supernaturalists, and talked about the gods of brook and bush. That is what the moderns mean when they say that the ancients did not "appreciate Nature," because they said that Nature was divine. Old nurses do not tell children about the grass, but about the fairies that dance on the grass; and the old Greeks could not see the trees for the dryads. - GK Chesterton


  1. I felt is was also about priority and sacrifice. When we decide what is important to us we sacrifice other things in pursuit of it. Whether the fairies were real or not I would not sacrifice my life or my family for them. The dad in this story did. Although this strikes me as a very bad thing, and at the beginning of the story the daughter would have agreed with me.... until she met these fairies and decided they were worth risking her own life for, and decided that his devotion to them was an honorable thing she wanted to emulate.

    I thought the movie was poorly named, and that name set us viewers up for an inevitable let down. It was not an Epic movie. It was a good movie, and with a more fitting title (providing a more realistic expectation) I might have even thought it was a very good movie. Still not "great" but most are not.
    That's my 2 cents.

  2. Thanks for the thoughts Pat. Good points on priority and sacrifice.