Saturday, 14 September 2013


Despite the killer cast, I didn’t catch Epic in the cinemas, and I didn’t regret that. The trailer, mixing FernGully with Honey I Shrunk the Kids while centring the piece on the oh-so-witty dialogue of the most plain-looking female protagonist I think I’ve ever seen in animation and a romantic lead that looked like the offspring of Robert Pattinson and an Easter Island head, did absolutely nothing for me, so I thought it should be one I leave until I see it on a plane. Which worked out quite well, because that’s what I did. On our trip to Japan, it was one of the (vaguely) new films on offer.

It was what I expected it to be – a bit clinical and charmless, but entertaining enough all the way through to be very watchable. Nothing that will have a big impact or take Fox into the truly big leagues of feature animation, but also not an embarrassment. So in-keeping with Chris Wedge’s other films.
A young woman who is feeling an emotional disconnection from her ‘stranger’ of a father because of his utter obsession with catching fairies becomes shrunk down and involved in an apparently epic confrontation between the ‘Leafmen’, who guard the queen of the forest, and the Boggans who wish to see everything rot. The queen has been gravely injured and is passing her power on through a pod, which young M.K., uptight Ronin and wildcard Nod have to protect. If it blooms in the moonlight of the solstice, the forest is saved, but if it blooms in darkness...

It’s predictable stuff, but spiced up by some lively performances – Colin Farrell doing his best noble Irish warrior, Christoph Waltz finally getting to do a full-out hammy bad guy yet still introducing nuance to the role, and Beyonce and Steven Tyler rocking up to steal their scenes. Then there’s a comic relief slug and snail duo, who manage to stay just on the right side of annoying, and also a crazy three-legged pug, which you can’t really go wrong with.

The trouble really was that perhaps excepting Colin Farrell, none of the major characters seemed to care very much what they were doing or believe in their lines. About the only character I rooted for, despite an initial distaste for the cutesy not-far-from-Alice-in-Wonderland personified flowers, was the young flower girl enamoured with the Queen, who despite having an important role in the grand scheme of things barely gets 5 lines – but does them with a real infectious enthusiasm.

It would be more interesting to see the film actually deal with the ideas of fathers wasting their lives and failing to be good parents, and with its multiple strands coming together rather better, but ultimately, it just about satisfied. 


  1. I was planning to see Epic when it was in the theaters but things came up and I missed my chance. But just recently I obtained a free movie on demand from my cable provider and chose to watch it through it's funny that you posted this review just a day or two before I watched it XD

    I agree that Epic wasn't anything too, well, epic, but it was enjoyable enough. I loved the visuals for one, with the gorgeous green of the forest, the lighting, etc,. And unlike a lot of kids films, there really wasn't any over-the-top, slapstick humor to interrupt the otherwise dramatic story. As you mentioned, even the comic relief snail and slug duo weren't annoying hyperbolic or anything. So that was refreshing. One thing I would have liked to see a bit more development for was the society of the forest world, and also more background for MK and her relationship with her parents. But even without these things, I didn't find the movie too lacking. There wasn't much in it I thought was amazingly memorable, but nothing I thought was particularly bad either.

    By the way, that's cool that you got to go to Japan recently =D Did you go as a vacation with family or friends? How long did you stay?

  2. I'm there now! Having a marvellous time. :)