Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — As an avid film buff who often favors animation over live action, 2013 has so far been a year barely pinging the radar. Off to a rather slow star and average results for the few actually hitting the cinema, success for each selection to date has not had a lot of competition and looks to still be more than three weeks from full throttle.
However, there is today’s entry, something which appeared to be a world graphically amazing enough at first glance, though in trailers reminiscent of been there done that while delving in the secret world of the nature around us. The obvious ones like “Avatar” and “Fern Gully” turn out to be appropriate enough influences, though upon further reflection it is easy to detect some “Spiderwick Chronicles” or “Bridge to Terabithia” as well, yet pushing through enough of its own story to not feel totally recycled. “Epic” does seem a bit exaggerated if you want to really examine overall quality, with something that is sure to be fine for the youngest kids, but a bit flat for the adults tagging along.
The story focuses on a 17-year-old girl named Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried), who is reluctantly visiting her estranged father, Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) at his home out in the country. Much to her dismay, he is still continues the work of finding a secret race of plant people, a problem that didn’t end well previously for the stability of the family.
However, as reluctant as Katherine is to believe the wild fantasies of her father, her attitude changes when she is somehow transported to this hidden world upon the death of its ruler Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles). Before our teenaged heroin can quite get her bearings she is quickly involved in a race to save this world with the help of those like a leafman Warrior, Ronin (Colin Farrel) as well as a rebellious leafman named Nod (Josh Hutcherson) from the clutches of a villain named Mandrake (Christoph Waltz) and his Boggans. I want to point out that I actually enjoyed much of the film with a rather heartwarming tale and plenty of humor, but it seems as if those working on the scenes gave up somewhere three fourths of the way through and suddenly changed to lazy writers for the conclusion.