This week's book-to-movie adaptation is "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," which is based on the series by C.S. Lewis. Lucy, Edmund and Eustace are magically pulled into a painting of a ship, and wind up on the Dawn Treader, whose captain, the King of Narnia, is searching for seven lost lords. Judging from the reviews, this is the Sarah Palin of movies: You love it or hate it. Here are some review excerpts:
Washington Post -- It's great to be back in Narnia. ... [I]t isn't every kid's movie that wrestles with the subject of faith in a higher power, or sin, or the afterlife. And it isn't every kid's film that can do it so entertainingly. Sure, that's heavy stuff if you're looking for it. But it doesn't spoil the great, great fun to be had in Narnia - or the magical spell it casts - if you're not.
Los Angeles Times -- Oh, there are sword fights aplenty (as bloodless as ever), but instead of a real story, we are left clinging to individual moments. There are funny ones — the one-footed dwarfs (big foot, tiny bodies, lots of hopping); poignant ones — the magic dragon desperate to undo the spell; sort of scary ones — a ghastly sea serpent whose belly is the beast; and flat ones (too many to mention).
Roger Ebert -- The characters have characteristics rather than personalities, and little self-consciousness. They spring to the service of the plot, which, not particularly coherent, boils down to one damn thing after another. Still, this is a rip-snorting adventure fantasy for families, especially the younger members who are not insistent on continuity.
Time -- The film is not objectionable, just perfunctory — a decorous succession of adventure clichés with a cast of performers who should seek treatment for charisma deficiency. Dawn Treader, the name of the ship in the story, should here be rechristened Yawn Treader.