The Golden Compass
Movie Stats & Links
Dakota Blue Richards, Sam Elliott, Eva Green, Daniel Craig
New Line Cinema
||They might just be
confused by the story or freaked out by the violence.
||Only if she likes
Lots of it, but you don't see blood, just
||The Ice Bear fight
scene was pretty cool.
||Bill Carraro, Deborah Forte
After seeing "The Golden Compass" my initial thought was
2 stars out of 5, but I had seen some of the taglines on the
movie ad spouting its greatness, saw some brief reviews
touting it as an epic film, and wondered if I had missed
something. I also walked out of the theater wondering if I
fell asleep or something because I could have sworn there
was scene in the trailer showing the lead character, Lyra
(Dakota Blue Richards), falling out of a flying ship but
didnít remember seeing it in the movie. I know some things
get cut, but that scene seemed pretty important.
The Golden Compass
A Movie Review
So before I began writing this review I tried to do some
investigating and found out some things. One was that after
reading some of the reviews saying the movie was great I
still couldnít figure out why the reviewer thought so. The
other was that for whatever reasons the film folks moved
some of the scenes out of order with the book and cut
the exciting, climactic ending to the first book of the
trilogy, leaving a "happy" ending. Huh? If this seems
confusing, Iíll at least do my best to explain the story.
Weíre introduced to a world somewhat similar to our own,
only whereas we have souls/personalities/an inner voice that
tends to guide our actions, in this world that
soul/personality/inner voice is manifested in a talking
animal, called a daemon, who follows you around for your
life. If you die your daemon dies, and vice-versa. Well it seems that the old people in charge, called
the Magisterium, are beginning to worry about the youth and
their free spirits and free thoughts, so they are trying to
find a way to separate the daemon from the child, without
killing the kid, so that the kids will follow whatever crap
the Magisterium feeds them. Leading the charge is Mrs.
Coulter (Nicole Kidman), who leads the research.
Okay, so what about this Lyra girl? Well her Uncle, or
it might be her dad, Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig), might have
found a way that people can travel between parallel worlds,
for example, from their world with the daemons to our world
without them, thanks to some magic dust, and heís off on a
research trip to figure it out. While gone, though, Lyra is
given this Golden Compass thing which if you twist some
dials and look into it and ask it a question, it will give a
glimpse of the future or something in the past. Running from
the evil clutches of Mrs. Coulter, Lyra ends up under the
watchful eyes of the Gyptians who are on a quest to rescue
their stolen children, helping an Ice Bear named Iorek
(voiced by Ian McKellen) who is now indebted to Lyra, and
making the acquaintance of a witch named Serefina (Eva
Clear as mud, isnít it?
I suppose if you really want to know the story your
better bet is to read the book (or at least the
than my review, or any other review for that matter, and
even seeing the movie seems confusing mostly because, since
they cut out the ending of the first book, the movie seems
Acting-wise Dakota Blue Richards is okay as the little
girl, Lyra, looking to be an independent spirit and now
realizing she is important to the future of the world.
Nicole Kidman shows she can be an evil bitch, but Daniel
Craig and Sam Elliott or totally underused, maybe because
the movie folks also seemed to do everything they could to
keep the movie under two hours. Hereís the thing Ė If your
intent is to make an epic movie you might want to actually
look up the meaning of the word? The more complex everything
is the more time it will take to develop the characters and
the story, and "The Golden Compass" spends too much of its
time trying to look epic without actually being epic.
When the first trailer for "The Golden Compass" came out
they tried to promote the trilogy, quoting the similarity to
"The Lord of the Rings," but at itís core "The Lord of the
Rings" had a simple concept exploding into a grandiose
scale. The concept behind "The Golden Compass" isnít simple
at all and Iíll tell you what, I donít want to sit in a
movie, be that confused, and not get a conclusion.
After it all Iím actually knocking down my rating a bit,
so Iím giving "The Golden Compass" 1 Ĺ stars out of 5. Odd
as this is for me to say I think the movie should have actually
pushed for the 2 Ĺ, or even 3, hour mark, if only to give a
little more story development and stick to at least the
timeline of events
the Wikipedia entry summarized (I wondered why Iorek the Ice
didnít bring Ice Bear nation with him to rescue the stolen
children, now I know).
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!!