Thursday, May 30, 2013

Epic? Not quite, But Not Bad Either

I didn't want to see Epic, because I thought it looked stupid.  Everyone was making comparisons to Fergully, but I honestly don't remember anything about that movie, so I couldn't judge it on that level.  Also, the commercials and advertisements are EVERYWHERE, and the presence of the movie started to annoy the living hell out of me.  So it was with a reluctant spirit when I joined a friend to see the film last night, and, I admit that I thought it was a cute (albeit very familiar) story with some really pretty animation.

Mary Katherine (or MK as she insists on being called--oh, those moody teenagers!!!) visits her estranged father, Professor Bomba (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), who is convinced a race of small people are living in the woods that surround his house.  MK is obviously not moved by her father's theories and, like everyone else, thinks he's a kook.  At the same time, we learn that Bomba was right, and a war is brewing in the foliage right outside.  Tiny, hunky soliders called Leafmen (exactly what they sound like) protect the forest from the Boggans, an orc-y like army of baddies who want nothing more than for the forest to rot.  The Boggans are led by a particularly ugly guy named Mandrake (Christoph Waltz), while the Leafmen follow under the command of Ronin (Colin Farrell).

The forest's queen, Queen Tara (Beyonce, hey girl!), is supposed to choose a new heir for the forest, and, right after she selects the smallest pod, the ceremony is ambushed by the Boggans and Tara is killed.  Oh, please, that's not a spoiler.  Beyonce is barely in the trailer, and you know girl is working on a new album!  While being all angsty and walking around the woods, MK spies Tara's dying body, and she is magically shrunk down.  Tara tells her to take the pod to Nim Galuu, a Glowworm voiced by Steven Tyler.  Yes, shit is getting trippy.  They must take the pod to Moonhaven so it can bloom in the moonlight.  Naturally.  If it blooms in darkness, Mandrake will have a new a new dark prince to call his own. 

Nim Galuu kind of looks like Heimlich from Pixar's A Bug's Life, withought the verve or flair.  MK joins Ronin as well as Nod, a hunky and reckless young soldier.  Why are the hot ones always reckless?  I digress.  Nod is voiced by Peeta Mallarck Josh Hutcherson and looks a hell of a lot like Flynn Rider from Tangled

Everything in Epic kiiiiiind of looks like things you've already seen before.  Nod and Nim Galuu look like characters from other animated movies, and Bomba is basically Rick Moranis from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.  I had a hard time not thinking that Bomba was going to put himself in that device so he could comb his backyard.  Also, is Christoph Waltz only being offered roles as villains?  He was virtuous in Django Unchained, I know, but that guy has played a bad guy in almost everything.  He does it very well.  It's not a criticism.  Just an observation. 

Yeeeahhh, now you're thinking it!

Epic might not be the most original kids movie out there, but I can guarantee I am going to like it more than Planes.  It might make your kid appreciate nature, or inspire them to explore the outdoors looking for little people.  The movie is very colorful and quite gorgeous at times.  My expectations were at a complete low, so it had to do something right in order for me to recommend it. 

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