The Golden Compass: A Movie Review

The day it opened, I grabbed my trusty hubby and dragged him to The Golden Compass. I was so excited for this movie, I was twittering the whole day to see it. I settled into my movie theater seat with my snuck in candy and anticipated the Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter book turned to movie, thrilling big fantasy experience. And then I waited. And kept waiting.

While the acting was great, the movie fell flat. And it wasn't just me, who had read and adored the books, but my hubby too, who usually loves the fantasy kid book movies. The flow of the movie was rough, almost like the editing for the movie wasn't finished, and the story seemed to be sped through with little development. The characters also weren't developed in a natural way, and in the end I was just left with disappointment at what the movie could have been... an epic movie of huge proportions much like The Lord of the Rings trilogy had been. Instead it ended up being no better than the cartoon recreation of The Lord of the Rings that I had watched as a child. Recreating the story in a very linear and flat fashion without adding anything to it, and in fact even detracting from it.

And don't even get me started on the corny Disney-ish fairytale music. The book was edgy and harsh, shining light on the ugly sides of human nature and the dangers of an Authoritarian entity running people's lives. The Disney-ish fairytale music completely contrasted the plot and the tone of the book, as if attempting to make the story something it's not. There never was this huge sense of foreboding that the book had, and I really disliked the narrator explaining dust at the beginning of the movie. Part of the enjoyment of reading the book was learning about it as Lyra did and trying to figure it out almost like a mystery. Why did the movie just ruin that for the viewers?

Overall, the movie was a huge disappointment and while I'll probably watch the next one to see if it's any better, I'll go in with much lower expectations then I went to The Golden Compass with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the books so I didn't have that to compare it to, but I completely agree with everything you had to say.

I also found it really flat and was so bored. The only thing that stopped me from leaving the movie theatre was that it was a super hot day and I don't have any air conditioning at home.

The thing I found most annoying was the clunky ending that was setting up the sequals. Where Lyra was writing a to do list. So boring!!!


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