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The Last Contrarian
 
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Epic - Reviewed by The Contrarian

03 June 2013, 08:43

Blue Sky Studios’ latest ambition Epic is their best looking movie to date, but, sadly, it colours, renders, and animates a nauseating tale filled with characters that evoke feelings of psychopathy! If the boredom does not kill you first, the annoying characters and their moronic dialogue soon will.

Personally, I’ve had a soft spot for Blue Sky Studios ever since their masterpiece Robots. Sadly, since then they have done nothing to retain my affection. Up until the recent Ice Age 4, Blue Sky Studios were clearly lacking in the visual department as their movies looked dated and overly simple compared to rivals DreamWorks and Pixar. Even though Epic looks every bit as good as anything to come from DreamWorks or Pixar of late, it has none of the charm that the competition adds to their final products.

The story is about a girl whose mother dies, forcing her to take up residence with her estranged father, a scientist so nerdish and geeky that one has trouble imagining him ever attracting a mate of the opposite sex. This impossibility of conception aside, the lunatic is chasing fairies in the forest with his gadgets and spy cameras. He is so good at it, that the little pests have directed him to the opposite end of the forest, far away from their abode.

Enter the villain: A bluish-grey frogman who covers himself with the rotting skin of a dead bat, who has no reason, no purpose, and no clear motive for why he wants to choke the life out of the forest fairies. His only power is some tar-like substance he uses to kill plants and animals merely by rubbing the substance on them. Oh and his son dies in a brainless, unprovoked attack on the fairies for wanting to elect a new forest queen.

Enter the bimbo queen: The forest has a queen who controls all living things in the forest to keep away the evil frogman and his tarlike substance. While waltzing about like a prom queen, she speaks with the same fluency and elegance as a mallrat teenage girl. Thankfully, she dies!

The orphan with the lunatic scientist for a father is somehow intertwined now in the struggle of the forest fairies as the dying bimbo queen shrinks her down to their size to complete the mission of brining a magical flower bud to a sacred place in the forest so a new bimbo queen can talk nonsense.

From here on I can copy-paste whatever overused good VS evil (good always wins) fairytale ending I fancy. Seeing the same plot unfold for the ten-thousandth time is enough to kill off any sense of nostalgia and leave me in a fit of revulsion for the utter lack of originality that plagues the entertainment industries of the world.

Entertainment came infrequently by way of a three-legged dog, a snail, and a slug. These are the only characters in the movie that either had some less than grating dialogue or a bit of a personality. My recommendation to Blue Sky Studios is to cut out every scene where another character speak and just leave the five minutes and forty seconds of dialogue of these three characters as a Pixar-style ‘short story.’ At least then I would leave the theatre feeling like I saw something I would want to see more of.

And for my critics who feel the need to remind me of the obvious with regards to movies like Epic—that they are made for children and should be judged in that context—I have only a question:  Which children? My lack of having offspring of my own has not stopped me from noticing that many of them are actually pretty smart! They can wield and operate an iPad with greater ability than most CEOs I know. This movie is an insult to almost every normal toddler I’ve seen of late!

In Summary

Epic needs to be followed by a four-letter word starting with ‘s’ to appropriately set the expectation of unsuspecting audiences. I’ve not been this bored by a CG movie since Jimmy Neutron and Space Chimps 2. Epic has no plot, no urgency, no memorable characters, a queer villain, and awkward humour sprinkled haphazardly into the mix. As someone who can usually see the talent, effort, and skill in CG movies (because I used to be a CG artist myself), I can s ay that Epic is an epic failure of a CG film to have left me wishing I had rather spent the S$15 for an admission ticket on beer!

Final Score

4/10 - Being a clear rip off of and crossbreed between Rise of the Guardians and Brave, Epic shows itself to be just commercial mimicry and a poor attempt at that. Rather than extracting the best elements of its reference material, it sampled the worst, and I was left feeling robbed and mocked for my gullible interest in this amateurish movie. Unless you are on some life quest to see every single CG movie that comes out, I can’t honestly recommend Epic, not even to your children—unless they are intellectually dysfunctional. There are much better CG movies available on DVD for you to rent and enjoy; give Epic a wide berth.

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