Rant and Rave: ‘Epic’

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

From the producers of Ice Age and Rio comes another film of “epic” proportions that is simply (but not so aptly) titled Epic. The movie dives into the world of Leafmen and Boggans as described in the children’s book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce and features a star studded cast with popular names like Beyonce Knowles, Josh Hutcherson (Hunger Games), and Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables).

The story focuses on Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried), who prefers to be called M.K., comes home to her estranged father, Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) following the death of her mother. Seeing that he is still more interested in discovering the world of tiny people living in the forest, M.K. tries to leave him and ends up following their dog Ozzy into the depths of the forest and gets herself entangled in the war between the Leaf-men and the Boggans.

Ronin (Colin Farrell), the head of the Leaf-men, watches over the centennial ritual where Queen Tara (Beyonce Knowles) picks the pod that will become her heiress and continue her work protecting the forest. Mandrake (Christoph Waltz) and his son Dagda (Blake Anderson) soon crash the ceremony with their Boggan troops spreading rot and attempts to kill the Queen before she could pass on her powers, which could regenerate the plants in the woodland. M.K. was entrusted with the job of protecting the pod with the help of Ronin’s rebellious junior Nod (Josh Hutcherson), the keeper of the scrolls Nim Galuu (Steven Tyler), and pod caretakers Mub (Aziz Ansari) and Grub (Chris O’Dowd) in order to ensure the future of the Leaf-men and the forest.

Epic received mixed reviews from critics. “It’s a complicated story, but thanks to careful pacing and a very satisfying script, it’s not confusing. Director Chris Wedge (“Ice Age”) and his team of skilled animators fill the movie with exciting action sequences and whimsical gags—nothing out of the ordinary, to be sure, but the quality across the board is very high, and the fun visual style adds to our enjoyment of the story, rather than distracting from it,” while remarks, “The film as this film, on which Joyce worked as producer, writer and production designer, retains enough of the magic of the original to make it enormously visually appealing, even if the story itself is almost unrecognizably bloated.”

The plot is quite complex, adventurous, and highly ambitious, though predictable. The story is reminiscent of the Ant Bully, Arrietty, and Tinkerbell movies combined. However, unlike the said movies, the animation is very sharp and vibrant, as expected from Dreamworks. Seeing a brief romances between the characters was refreshing yet unsatisfying. The film was entertaining with Mub and Grub, and the occasional Nim Galuu, providing the comic relief the movie needed. It supplied chuckles in between some awkward and lackluster voice acting.

That aside, what the movie does best is imparting morals. M.K. and the rag-tag team makes plain protecting what needs to be protected and underlined what it means to understand each other. It promoted good old fashioned family values and always being aware and sensitive of one’s surroundings. The film manifests loose environmentalist undertones, which teaches the audience to appreciate the superfluous beauty of nature and to avoid upsetting the balance. Decay was portrayed as the evil villain although it is natural and a part of life.

Though the movie was meaningful, it did not amount to its namesake. It was good, but not epic.

Rating: 3.0
Kimberly Ly

By Kimberly Ly

19 replies on “Rant and Rave: ‘Epic’”


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