The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a fantasy epic adventure, directed by Michael Apted. Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third and final film in the franchise and takes place directly after the events of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008).
The Chronicles of Narnia was supposedly going to be that revolutionary change that high fantasy films needed to keep up with films like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the Golden Compass. However, it was a huge disappointment as the series began to lose its identity soon after the successful first film. Voyage of the Dawn Treader was the time where Disney took their hands out of the distribution of Narnia films, and it managed to have an even lesser budget than the first film.
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The Movie Review
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a film that honestly should not have been made. It was a movie that quite literally no one asked for, especially because of Prince Caspian barely making its budget back at the box office. The story follows three years after the events of Prince Caspian, as the Pevensie siblings Lucy and Edmund stay with their annoying cousin Eustace Scrubb. Their older brother and sister; Peter and Susan are in the United States; while the war is still ongoing.
While living there, they miss their siblings and their parents dearly and hate the separation that the war has caused them. Edmund dreams of joining the royal army, however he is too young.
Though, to their surprise, because of a fantastical painting of a ship within the ocean Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace are back into the lands of Narnia – rescued by the ship known as the Dawn Treader; captained by none other than Prince Caspian. They set sail on a voyage to rescue the seven Lords of Narnia who are now banished by Caspian’s cruel uncle Miraz.
Frankly, this film has a much tighter plot than the previous one and the screenplay isn’t that lacking either. The problem arises for Voyage of the Dawn Treader with its budget. Each and every single sequence that had even a tiny fraction of CGI ends up looking janky, Aslan looks worse than he did in 2005, and even the slightest hint of fur on-screen seems completely blurry and dull.
None of the shots in the film are composed well, and it manages to look rougher than any of the previous films, with worse color grading, worse CGI and even worse animation work.
The film does well in terms of its writing though, it feels much different compared to the second film and has a more serious and consistent tone overall. Yet the direction here is lacking still in quality.
The pacing is completely off, and it feels like a dumbed-down version of the product we were supposed to get. The characters in the film lack motivation, while random characters such as The Witch from the original 2005 film pop up for no reason whatsoever.
The acting though, every single thing in this film can be forgiven but not the acting. The actors did not care what they were taking part in; they were just as passionless about this film as the studios behind it.
Edmund was the only character that I felt was acted decently, while the rest of the characters were almost always in monotone, or it was mainly just Lucy who was absolutely boring to watch as a character.
Last but not least, I wouldn’t go anywhere without saying that this film has a boring soundtrack. Imagine the soundtrack from the first two Narnia films, but somehow absolutely forgettable. Since it lacks so much personality that the two films before this prided themselves on, I will be assume that they didn’t have much time with the score composition either.
The Bottom Line
Overall, The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader is an absolutely unnecessary film that shouldn’t have been made. It brings nothing new to the table; it is not fun to watch in any way, shape or form. The fact that the studio even decided to create this is beyond me, but as long as it made money; I guess they got what they wanted.