By Fred Topel | Image property of New Line Cinema.
The Golden Compass
Fans of the book will be happy that The Golden Compass is such a faithful movie adaptation. I read the book and it bored the sh*t out of me so the movie bored the sh*t out of me too.
Review: The Golden Compass
They explain everything about the alternate earth, daemons, dust, The Magesterium and blah blah blah blah blah. It still takes so long to get all the information out. They made the alethiometer more visual but not any more interesting than a super-sized magic eight ball.
It's still just talking animals. Maybe they morph, but they're still just talking animals. Maybe they fight but they're still just talking animals. Maybe they're souls but they're still just talking animals.
What a sweet gig for Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. Probably a week's worth of work in a couple of scenes, she gets top billing and he gets "and Daniel Craig." They do the characters as described in the book, the savior with a dark side Mrs. Coulter and the dick despite having love and admiration Asrael. Craig's tweed/wool suit looked so itchy I felt uncomfortable for him.
There is some action, but most of it minor and uninteresting. A cat fights a monkey, Lyra runs down the street, the bear rampages through town. Eh. Asriel's mountain chase is embellished a tad and there is a big bear fight with the violent resolution from the book, and the big battle at the end. I guess I've always wanted to see Coca-Cola bears fight. There must be a lot of demand for that.
They do manage to make the prospect of cutting a child from their daemon intense and upsetting. That's with the acting of Dakota Blue Richards and the mise en scene of the scary machine.
At least Lyra is smart and cunning. That's something good for kids. I just don't care about these made up fantasy worlds. At a certain point, it's just different fake words for the same thing, and the explanation is so boring. Just show me what's cool and I don't care how it works. Call it a flux capacitor and get on with the story.