Friday, May 31, 2013

Epic review

By Nico Beland
Movie Review: A (3 ½ stars)

MK (Amanda Seyfried) and Nod (Josh Hutcherson) soar in Epic

That’s twice now I found an animated movie that I can’t get tired of (the first being Wreck-It Ralph), Epic, the new animated feature by Blue Sky Studios, the animation team behind the Ice Age series, Horton Hears a Who!, and Rio. Epic’s animation is just absolutely gorgeous and fun to look at, especially if you’re seeing it in 3D, almost like a cartoon Avatar. Besides beautiful animation the story is creative despite some of the narrative themes being rather familiar (Avatar, Fern Gully, etc.), the action is surprisingly very gripping even for an animated kids movie, and the comedy, while childish at times it can offer some chuckles and a few laugh out loud moments.
A teenage girl named MK (voiced by Amanda Seyfried-Les Miserables, In Time, Mamma Mia!) moves to live with her scientist dad (voiced by Jason Sudekis) and she finds a magic flower pod that transports her to a magical world of nature, with talking snails and slugs, an army of soldiers known as the Leafmen, and an evil race of beings who want to destroy the forest. She teams up with the Leafmen, led by warrior, Ronin (voiced by Colin Farrell-Daredevil, Horrible Bosses, Total Recall) and his younger brother, Nod (voiced by Josh Hutcherson-The Hunger Games) and a comedic snail and slug duo (voiced by Aziz Ansari and Chris O’Dowd) to defeat Mandrake (Christoph Waltz-Inglourious Basterds, The Green Hornet, Django Unchained) and his army of Boggans who want to destroy the forest and rule the Leafmen world.
If Wreck-It Ralph and Brave were the best CG animated films from 2012 then Epic is the best CG animated feature of 2013 so far, better than The Croods and definitely better than Escape from Planet Earth. The animation is wonderful, the pacing is really good, the action is intense and exciting, the comedy isn’t so bad, the characters are likable, and for a non-Pixar or DreamWorks animated movie it stands well on its own.
The voice cast they chose for the movie were very good decisions, Amanda Seyfried is likable as the voice of MK, Josh Hutcherson is charming as Nod, and Christoph Waltz is phenomenal as the voice of the villain, Mandrake, I mean of course Christoph Waltz is always great, even if he’s in a lackluster or awful movie (Green Hornet or Three Musketeers) he delivers a powerhouse performance and makes the movie more memorable and fun to watch.
Epic won’t just appeal to children, but adults and even teenagers will most likely have a good time watching it. It’s also one of those “You gotta see in 3D” movies; believe me the 3D is well worth it.
For the moment, Blue Sky created the most amazing 3D animated movie out in theaters. But I guess we’ll have to see what Pixar, DreamWorks, and Illumination will concoct in the future with Monsters University, Turbo, and Despicable Me 2 in order to decide who created the best animated film of 2013.

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