Epic film review.

“Yeah, I know snails don’t have pupils or teeth, smartarse. It’s a kids’ movie, for chrissake.”

Release Date: 22 May 2013
U | 102 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Chris Wedge
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz

Exploring the great outdoors seems romantic, until you’re faced with the reality of it: the bugs, the mud, and the rotting gunk you’ll almost certainly step in. In Epic, the green and pleasant side of nature is waging a war against the ickier side – and when it starts losing, it’s time to enlist some outside help.

That help comes in the form of MK, a teenage girl from the city. After her mother’s death, she reluctantly moves to her estranged father’s crumbling house in the woods, only for Dad’s fanatical belief in fairies to have her packing her bags. Then a chance encounter with the dying Queen of the Forest sees MK zapped down to pixie size and tasked with saving the world from encroaching rot.

The ensuing adventure is pretty straightforward, but it’s funny and often charming. It’s just that whenever it tries to introduce strong emotions of any kind, Epic falls short. MK’s reunion with her dad is sweet, but too easy; her romance with leaf man Nod is logistically troubling; and her grief over her mother’s death is quickly brushed aside.

Maybe that’s forgiveable in a kids’ film, but it seems odd to write a story about the struggle between life and death only to shy away from actually dealing with it. Though the animation is cute and the voice acting decent enough, like most spur-of-the-moment picnics, Epic doesn’t quite come together as well as it should.

Sarah Dobbs twitter.com/SarahDobbs

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