EPIC (2013) : REVIEW

May 24, 2013

"Just because you haven't seen something doesn't mean it's not there."
There's this 'law' telling that Pixar's animation is the best animation movie in the market, which is mostly true. But, what about Blue Sky Studios? I know that Ice Age has its own fame, holding 4 major blockbuster movies & sequels, but we certainly can't forget about the failure of the very recent Rise of The Guardian. Little surprise added, this very movie also based from the book of the very same author of Rise of The Guardian : William Joyce (The Leaf Men and The Brave Good Bugs). Yes, judge me allright, it's sort of affecting (ehm, lowering) my expectation though I can't deny that I was mesmerized by the trailer (good lord that score!). So, the question is, does EPIC lives up to its braggy name or not?
Mary Katherine a.k.a MK (Amanda Seyfried) just lost her mom and is now voluntarily living with his dad, a quirky botanical professor named Bomba (Jason Sudeikis), whom her mother had abandoned years ago because of his obsession towards his belief. He thinks that there're these forces of tiny creatures living in the woods, battling for bad and good, giving an air or decay throughout the entire woods. He abandons his career and family just to prove its existence. Short story short, while searching his runaway dog, MK then finds herself as a witness of the fallen of Queen Tara (Beyonce Knowles), the queen and the soul of the woods, leaving her as a 2-inch tiny human with a magical sheath as the only key to face the evil of Boggans clan and its woods-domination obsessed leader, Mandrake (Christopher Waltz). With the help of the special forces of the good also known as the Leafman (men, whatever), its leader Ronin (Colin Farell), a rebel Nod (Josh Hutcherson), and two snails (slugs, whatever) Mub (Azis Ansari) and Grub (Chris O'Dowd), MK then fights for her battle in order to help the good and also to back to normal and go home.

Sadly to say, they never learn from the past mistakes. The history is repeated, again. This so-called EPIC movie should be called as an EPIC FAILURE instead. How can I put this? First, the story is downlow mainstream : an orphan (teenager) girl forcedly moves in to her less likeable parent at some remote place for then to discover a hidden magical world and find a little adventure at it, with a guarantee of strenghtening her bonding with her father. It's boring. It's predictable. The plot is unsteady, up & down, untidy; one time you're here for no reason, then you quikly jump (and fly) there to face another obstacles in the way. It's tattered with plot holes everywhere. Some of the purposes of the scenes take us to completely nowhere, without any world and character buildings whatsoever. Take the romance between MK and Nod for instance: is it supposed to be there? If you're gonna add an itty bitty sweetness, at least think before making a surprise tension without any signals shown in the previous events, and also by not making the solution makes no sense. The twists are highly uninspiring. The jokes are bitter, even feel a little cheesy sometimes (I'm not the fan of slooo...wwww..iiinnggg... dooo..www...nnnn). It's a shame though, because I was quite caught up in the beginning by the tragedy of Queen Tara and the little narrations performed by MK; it's slowly built but then completely fell apart. And boy, do backstories kill? Like why Nod being so rebel? I need some!

It's a universal knowledge that this movie couldn't be animated as beautiful as Pixar would do. Yes, the special effects and CGI feel a little flat and ordinary, and the 3D doesn't really add up. But should I say that I love Chris Wedge's directing by making the sequences as a roller-coaster action-adventure (by saying roller coaster doesn't mean up & down feeling, but a real up and down, like the movie Tarzan in 1999). I also love the fully-packed action that's flickering; not an super-exciting one, but it still works.

By plastering famous names as the voices can't be a guarantee that this movie will success. It will sell, of course, but unfortunately said, it doesn't help much. In fact, the characters are forgettable. MK is well, OK, but I'm confused with her well-being though. Doesn't she feel a little bit confused you know? Scared or something? It's like she's a queen of "no-hard-feelings". Ronin, well, stiff and a little bit forced. Maybe that's just how he should look. Nod? Well, does he really need to be there? As Queen Tara, stop the flirting will you? But her dress is pretty inspiring! I love Mub & Grub; they're sugarcoats though I sometimes find them a little bit irritating. The star is of course Mandrake; he serves his purpose, he fights well, but that's just it? He just (spoiler) dies that easy? Well well.

Finally said, EPIC is a 102-mins snorefest with quite uninspiring events and OK effects. It's just entertaining, but not amusing. Guess the saying "Many leaves, one tree" is true after all : one bad tree, and all the leaves are just as bad as it is.

ps : sorry for the bad quality pictures, google provides only that

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