Friday, May 31, 2013

Epic Review

A part of me really hopes I get a ton of views on this blog post just because of the title. People will read that and think that this review is going to be really epic for some reason and will have to look. That is the point where they will learn or be reminded that there is an animated movie with the title "Epic" and this post is me reviewing that movie. Epic was part of an epic Memorial Day weekend that broke the record for highest grossing Memorial Day weekend at the box office thanks to a very strong opening from Fast and Furious 6 mainly, but Hangover Part III, Epic, and the May holdovers certainly helped. The success of Epic was mainly due to a dearth of animated movies this year rather than being an epic movie. It did come from Blue Sky, though, and they do have a decent track record with their movies as all of them, even their non Ice Age movies, have grossed above $100M domestically. Epic is on track to continue that trend, although it will be on the lower end.

Onto the actual movie now. The first order of business is what all of you are wondering if you haven't seen this movie. Is this movie epic? There are a lot of movies that are epic and a lot of movies that try to be epic, but few have decided to make that the title of their movie. The short answer to the question is no. It's not epic. Honestly, I don't even know why they called it that. The movie is based on the book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce and was originally titled Leaf Men before they switched to Epic. In my opinion they should've kept that original title because it made a lot more sense. The movie is an action animated movie that is centered around a war between the Leafmen, the protectors of the forest, and the Boggan, the evil creatures trying to destroy the forest. The Leafmen and the Boggan are small civilizations that humans will have a hard time seeing and hearing. The main character is a teenage girl named MK who is returning to live with her father, a somewhat eccentric man who is more focused on his work of discovering this small civilization than his family and thus his family has fallen apart. MK tries to fix that, but is having a hard time and is about to give up when she shrinks to the size of the Leafmen and Boggan and gets caught up in this war of theirs. If this is sounding familiar it is because it is a completely unoriginal idea in Hollywood and that is a big part of the reason why this movie isn't epic. Normal people becoming little is something that has been done several times before. Specifically it is awfully similar to the movie FernGully, mixed with Thumbelina, Avatar, and Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Thus made the movie rather predictable. Once you got 20 minutes or so into the movie, you knew exactly how it was going to play out

Despite this, though, I didn't find this movie to be a bad movie. Despite it being unoriginal and predictable it was a fun movie to watch. Most animated movies are either comedies or dramas, or a combination of the two, but this one was an action movie and that's not something you see too often and thus I had a lot of fun with it. Also, I was in the theater with several younger kids and they all seemed to love it. There are a lot of lines, especially by the slug and the snail, that are aimed at entertaining the young crowd and it definitely worked. Yes, there are a couple scenes that I thought might be a bit scary for little children, but they weren't nearly bad enough for me to recommend skipping the movie. The voice actors were great, which did surprise me a bit because they dove into the music business quite a bit with the voices as we had Pitbull, Beyonce, and Steven Tyler all playing main roles. The other main roles included the voices of Amanda Seyfried, Jason Sudeikis, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Blake Anderson, and Aziz Ansari, so it was quite the loaded cast of voice actors and like I said, they all did a good job. The music was done Danny Elfman and I rarely see him do a bad job with the music in a movie and this certainly wasn't an exception as he once again did a great job. I personally wasn't completely in love with the animation, especially with the humans, but it wasn't bad by any means. Also, they played on the daughter/father relationship as a main theme and I wasn't completely inspired or touched by how it turned out like I was in The Croods, but I wouldn't consider it a fail.

Overall, if you are a parent with younger kids and are eager to take those kids out to a movie and you don't want to wait for Monster's University or Despicable Me 2, Epic is an excellent choice as your kids should love it and I believe you will enjoy it as well. No, it's not epic and I don't imagine it will even get a nomination for best animated movie in next year's Oscars, but it's a fun movie. I have no idea what Blue Sky is thinking in terms of a sequel, but it is actually the type of movie where a sequel would make a lot of sense, and you don't see me saying that too often. I will give Epic a decent 7 out of 10.

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