You can see why there was so much humming and harring surrounding the production of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The resulting movie is exactly what Disney expected it to be: A fantasy bore. The Dawn Treader? More like The Yawn Treader.
The trials and tribulations of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader had been much publicised. Producing Disney delayed and then pulled out of financing the movie. The Mouse House should have trusted their inkling; now they have another lead balloon on their hand, a sinking a ship if you will. It just goes to show that bad things do come in threes and The Chronicles of Narnia movies is definitely a terrible threesome.
It was hoped that the Narnia Chronicles could emulate The Potter and Rings franchise with an equally smooth transition to the big screen. But these high hopes were dashed long before the release of The Dawn Treader after disappointing returns on Prince Caspian (2008) (which earned $415 million worldwide but fell way short of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe's staggering $745 million haul). It begs the question: why make the movie in the first place? The damage had already been done.
To give it some credit to The Dawn Treader is the best of the three. In a rather cumbersome fashion, the film does reflect the dark and dreary post-war years in which C.S Lewis pencilled the Narnia stories; reflecting the issue of morality that he saw being drained and then later restored by the war’s outcome. The Dawn Treader’s plot is arguably the most Tolkien-esque of the Narnia movies – a cod-medieval adventure, special effects and in-your-face nakedly religious overtones; like having a fat greasy vicar preach directly in your and then belch in your mouth afterwards.
The Pevensies are back in Narnia. Lucy (Henley), Edmund (Keynes) and their brat of a cousin Eustace Scrubb (Poulter) join their old friend Caspian (Barnes) on the ship Dawn Treader as they embark on a voyage beyond Narnia’s seas in search for the seven lost lords. Rather remarkably Liam Neeson’s remarkable streak of bad movies continues, if anything it’s kind of impressive; Aslan’s booming god-like voice is simply an unwelcomed distraction.
The success of The Dawn Treader will be crucial in determining the direction of the four remaining films, (yes that’s right, four remaining films). Next up, presumably, is The Silver Chair. I am literally praying that after witnessing 133 minutes of sheer agony that those Disney’s bigwigs see sense this time around and put a stop to this unbearable franchise.
Aidan Donovan is a copywriter who works for a company that deals with Ford Fiesta.