Sunday, December 16, 2007
The Golden Compass Review
What. The. Fuck. No seriously. What the fuck was that! The Golden Compass seriously has to be one of the single most craptastic films I have ever seen.
Now, I've never read the book that the film is based on, however I do know its a children's book, and I can't even see any children liking this flick, it simply goes no where. The Golden Compass is full of plot holes, indecisive narrative, and reasonable, though not stellar effects. The film has no sense of direction, no focus, and it tries to rip off too many other universes out there, like The Lord of the Rings and even Star Wars in the odd scene (go creepy Emperor guy!).
The Golden Compass is a fantasy tale set in an alternate Earth, and on this world, people don't have a traditional soul, their soul is manifest in a talking animal companion called a Daemon that follows them around for life. Kill or hurt the Daemon, you kill or hurt the person or vice-versa. That concept is rather cool, and pretty much the only interesting thing going for The Golden Compass.
The film centres around Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards) who obtains the last Golden Compass which can show her the truth of any question she could ever ask. The Golden Compass has hands that point to various pictures, and if Lyra focuses on them enough, she can see an answer play out for her. In short, I was waiting for the Eye of Sauron to appear and yell at her, as the Compass sequences were a lot like Frodo obsessing over his Ring, only much more poorly done.
Basically Lyra is picked up by Marisa Coulter (Nicole Kidman) at some dinner party at her school, 'cause all successful women pick up young girls at dinner parties, and this leads Lyra on an adventure to rescue her friends who've been captured by the Gobblers, people who steal children for evil, nefarious reasons relating to Dust. What's Dust, you ask? Couldn't tell you, as it's never properly explained. I only know it's really important, pisses the government in power off, and it's sprinkly.
Along the way, Lyra conveniently encounters a bunch of other uninteresting characters like wannabe gypsies, witches, and some creepy southerner guy who flies an airship. The only interesting character that Lyra meets would have to be Iorek Byrnison (Ian McKellan), a talking polar bear. The polar bears are the only other things aside from the Daemons that The Golden Compass has going for it. They're animated well, and they smash shit, therefore Polar Bears = Yes. Iorek also has the voice of Magneto, so he's alright.
But seriously, I lost count of the number of times I cracked some joke at the film's expense, like when Lyra ask's where she is later on in the film, and is told the "Experimental Facility." You'll understand when and if you see the film, but that was just dumb and screaming for a Family Guy style gag.
Just a heads up that the ending is a crappy and unfulfilling as the rest of the flick, so if you're sitting through it waiting and hoping for answers, well, good luck with that.
I saw The Golden Compass just under a week ago, and I'm already traumatized enough remembering it for this short review, so I'm going to end off here. In short, do yourself a favour and instead of paying to see this film, go buy some nails and a hammer. Pounding them into your eyes'll be a lot less painful than watching The Golden Compass, and more entertaining too.