Well, the day has finally arrived. Epic was my most anticipated film of the year. I posted each trailer online as it came out, and that was because it was like my dream film was finally being made. So, when the film finally was released, I was hooked. I got in my seat, the film started, AND…
It was okay.
Not good, not bad, just okay.
WHAT HAPPENED? I wanted this film to blow me away, but it left me so underwhelmed. I mean, it’s not horrible. The animation’s really good, a few of the characters are impressive, and I like the score and sound deign. It’s a nice, feel-good movie. But it could have been so much more. In fact, instead of doing the typical review, I’m just going to list 6 improvements that would have made it so much better.
1.) More character development for Mary Katherine. In the scene when she shrinks, she just has a quick “No, no”, and in the next scene, she’s totally cool with it. I would have loved to take a few moments to see how all of this was effecting her.
2.) Slightly less characters to make room for more development. This is a story about a girl and her father and her boyfriend and his kind-of-father and his kind-of-wife and their slug friend and their snail friend and a toad and a centipide-thing and the villain and his brother. Everybody got that?
3.) Fix (or remove) most of the humor. A fifteen second scene with a fruit fly results in the most disturbing ‘joke’ in the world, and the slug and the snail have no purpose to be in the movie. And am I the only one disturbed that the slug has a crush on Mary Katherine? Oh, and lose the song.
4.) Be deep instead of formulaic. There is either good or evil in the world that was invented for the film. The filmmakers don’t make it look as if these characters are really experiencing something life-changing. The plot is very predictable and even suffers from a few cliches.
5.) Don’t make Nod an idiot. Here’s a bit of advice for all leaf men out there: If you meet a girl who is wearing clothes made of fabric, (not leaves) seems amazed at a world you’ve lived in all your life, and openly admits to never flying on a bird before, she’s probably a human. (Or ‘stomper’.) At the very least, when you find out, try to make it look as if you’re trying to overcome a strong prejudice. Act like discovering she’s human is a big deal, because it is!
6.) Explain things better. Why are the mice and chipmunks bad? Does this world only exist within this one forest, or other forests also? What is the villain’s motivation? And how come half the animals in this world can talk and the other half can’t!
But I can’t really hate this film. It has wonderful animation, a few touching scenes with Mary Katherine and her father, and a pretty good soundtrack. It leaves you with a satisfying grin. But it could have been a masterpiece. If only…