• Unlike Cloudy with a Chance of Meat Balls 2, Epic attempts to appeal to both younger and older viewers. While undeniably beautiful and flawlessly animated, it fails, for both audiences.
  • The story is too predictable, too rapidly paced and too simplistic to appeal to adults, which is all the more troubling because the feature’s core, it’s central attraction (outside of the animation), is the plot.
  • Similarly, characters are too underdeveloped. None of the creatures or people in this film have more than one or two traits, a fact that might be fine if the plot weren’t so poorly conceived and executed.
  • The romance is especially awkward, if also predictable, and never convincing, probably because the screenplay (credited to near a half dozen writers) doesn’t give the characters time to feel. They only do. Which means we never see why M.K. (Amanada Seyfried) and Nod (Josh Hutcherson) are attracted to one another, much less why that attraction is fostered during a time of total upheaval.
  • The dialogue is exposition heavy.
  • Those are reasons Epic doesn’t work for adults. Why doesn’t it work for kids either? In addition to having distinctly adult themes and ideas, Epic is very violent. To be sure, some younger viewers are interested in such violence, but just as many, if not more, are scared. And personally, I would be reluctant to even show this one to my pre-schooler. I’d rather she watch the Tinker Bell franchise or Winnie the Pooh movies where the narrative is stronger, the characters better developed, the themes more child appropriate, and the violence less prevalent. Even if I did show my daughter Epic, she would quit watching it after about ten minutes, out of fear.
  • So it is that this is a movie without an audience.
  • Which is something of a shame, because Epic really is beautifully animated. The animation, in fact, might be the best of any such film I’ve seen this year. The character’s faces are convincingly put together, the forest is beautiful and the effects fascinating.
  • It just doesn’t matter, not with a weak plot and cookie-cutter characters.
  • Final Grade: D-

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