PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):
Three years after the events of Prince Caspian, Lucy and Edmund Pevensie are staying with their cousin Eustace Scrubb. When water pours from a painting of a ship on the ocean hanging in Lucy’s bedroom, Lucy, Edmund and Eustace are transported into an ocean in Narnia.
They are rescued by Caspian and Reepicheep, and taken aboard the Dawn Treader, the ship featured on the painting. Caspian invites them on a voyage to rescue the seven Lords of Narnia whom his uncle Miraz banished.
They first visit the Lone Islands, where people are sold as slaves. Caspian and Edmund are captured and imprisoned while Lucy and Eustace were sold as slaves. Caspian meets one of the lost lords, who reveals that the slaves who are not sold, are sacrificed to a mysterious green mist. The Dawn Treader crew rescues them, battles the slave traders and reclaims the Lone Islands. The lord, who becomes the new governor, gives Caspian a sword originally given by Aslan from the Golden age.
At another island Lucy is abducted by invisible Dufflepuds who force her to enter the manor of Coriakin, a magician. Lucy finds a book of incantations and recites a visibility spell after discovering different incantations such as beauty and snow. They later meet Coriakin who encourages them to defeat the mist by laying seven swords at Aslan’s Table, but warns them that they are all about to be tested. While journeying, Lucy casts the beauty incantation, entering a dream in which she has transformed into Susan. She finds herself with Edmund and Peter and finds that neither Lucy nor Narnia exist. Aslan reveals himself to Lucy and explains the consequences of self-doubt and that her siblings only know of Narnia because of her.
They later visit a volcanic island. Edmund, Lucy and Caspian recover another sword from within a magical pool that turns anything that enters it into gold, and has turned one of the lost lords into gold as well. Edmund feels that this pool holds the key to limitless wealth, and he and Caspian argue about it before Lucy stops them. Meanwhile, Eustace discovers and steals some treasure, and finds the skeleton of another lord who perished on the island. While Edmund and Caspian look for him, a dragon approaches and is driven away from the Dawn Treader. The dragon turns out to be Eustace, who has been transformed by the enchanted treasure after succumbing to its temptations. Reepicheep later tries to amend the situation and befriends Eustace.
Then they later arrive at Aslan’s Table with three lost lords asleep around it. As they place the swords on the table they realise one is still missing. The star descends from the sky and turns into Lilliandil, a beautiful woman who guides them to the Dark Island, lair of the mist. The crew voyages to the island and discovers the last surviving Lord. He warns them not to think of their fears but Edmund fails, his fear manifesting as a monstrous sea serpent that attacks the ship. In the following fight between Eustace and the serpent, the last sword is thrown at Eustace, stabbing him. Wounded, Eustace flies away, landing on a sandy island and encountering Aslan, who transforms him back into a boy and sends him to Ramandu’s island with the last sword. The mist tries distracting Edmund by appearing as Jadis, the White Witch. Eustace overcomes the mist and puts the sword on the table, awaking the three sleeping lords and destroying the mist and the Dark Island; Edmund slays the sea serpent and they rescue the sacrificed people.
Eustace rejoins Lucy, Edmund, Caspian and Reepicheep and they sail to a sea covered in lilies, eventually finding a shore before a massive wave. Aslan appears to them and tells them that his country lies beyond, although if they go they may never return. Caspian refuses, acknowledging that he still has duties and responsibilities as Narnia’s king, but Reepicheep reveals that it has been his intention to enter, and Aslan blesses him before he paddles above the wave. Aslan opens a portal in the wave to send Lucy, Edmund and Eustace home, telling them that Lucy and Edmund have grown up and will never return to Narnia. Aslan encourages them to know him in their world by another name, and tells Eustace that he may return (having changed his ways throughout his journey). Edmund and Lucy bid farewell to Caspian and Aslan before entering the portal with Eustace. The three are returned to the bedroom as the ship disappears behind the waves where Eustace is called by his mother saying he has a visitor Jill Pole.
Yes, I know that I have not reviewed the previous films in this series. Rest assured, they will be forthcoming.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader picks up a few years after the previous film, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
The Pevensie children are older now. As a matter of fact, Peter and Susan have reached the age where they are not allowed in Narnia. This leaves the film to focus on Edmund and Lucy, as well as the annoying cousin Eustace.
So, the plot of this film starts with Edmund trying to join the British military, but he is too young. I’m not sure which war is going on at this time, but I want to say WW I. He and Lucy return to where they are staying…a house shared with their cousin Eustace.
After some heated exchanges about Narnia, the painting on the wall begins to come to life and floods the room, transporting the three of them to Narnia.
Upon arrival, they are picked up by the crew of the Dawn Treader, which includes old friends Caspian and Repicheep.
During their time on the ship, it is learned that Narnia is being overrun by slave traders and the unsold slaves are being sacrificed to the green mist. This gives way to the major plot of the film, recovering the seven swords that open up Aslan’s country.
Somewhere along the way, before reaching Aslan’s country, Eustace get turned into a dragon (which actually was an upgrade, if you ask me), but after a sever injury, he is turned back by the magic of Aslan.
At film’s end, no surprise, but Eustace becomes a better person and Edmund and Lucy learn that this was their last adventure in Narnia, as they have grown up.
This has to be the best of the series, so far. Funny enough, it took them leaving Disney to become interesting, or maybe this was just a more interesting book than the last two.
The action scenes here are pretty good, but I think they could have done better. I felt as if they were trying to go for the swashbuckler thing here, and then switched over to medieval fantasy, and while it may have worked in the books, on film it didn’t translate or mesh as well. Still, it was entertaining.
The effects could have been better, but at least they didn’t look homemade.
One thing I didn’t particularly care for was how Lucy kept trying to be her sister. I think this is in the book, but on film, it seemed as if they were doing as some sort of self-image thing, rather than her trying capture her own individuality or something like that.
Edmund also had a bit of a similar issue trying t live up to his brother Peter, but it is just brushed upon, which was fine with me.
I think if there in one franchise that can really capitalize on the completion of the Harry Potter films, it would be The Chronicles of Narnia. That is, if they are done right. While the first two films were alright, they weren’t particularly memorable. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a step in the right direction and I highly recommend this to everyone.
4 out of 5 stars