“Extraordinary things only happen to extraordinary people,” talking mouse Reepicheep states in the third installment of the “Chronicles of Narnia” series. “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” continues the story of the Pevensie siblings and features a fun adventure and great visual effects. However, two supporting characters steal the show in this family-friendly adventure.
As the story begins, Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund Pevensie (Skandar Keynes) are living with their relatives, including their annoying cousin Eustace (Will Poulter). The siblings try to avoid Eustace but he often interrupts their plan.
When Lucy and Edmund are discussing a painting in their cousin’s home, Eustace suddenly appears and tells them how lousy it is. As an argument ensues, the waves in the painting come alive and flood the room. The three relatives are then sucked into the world of Narnia. They are rescued by the crew members of the Dawn Treader, a magnificent ship carrying Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) on a quest. Eustace, in his first visit to Narnia, is agitated and frightened when he discovers that he is onboard a ship with talking animals and strange characters. He annoys nearly every passenger onboard including Reepicheep, who eventually challenges him to a duel.
The ship is headed towards a group of mysterious islands. Prince Caspian is on a mission to find some of his father’s supporters, who were exiled when Caspian’s uncle became King. The story then follows a series of adventures as the crew search for the friends of Caspian’s father. Along the way, the characters are tempted to make bad decisions that could set them off course.
Throughout the entire film, the most interesting characters are Eustace and Reepicheep. At times, the whole story feels like the “Eustace and Reepicheep Show” because these two characters are the most fun to watch. Eustace may be mean-spirited but he has some of the best lines and provides several laughs. Reepicheep is the honorable and noble mouse who, in one of the finest moments in the story, looks out for Eustace even when he doesn’t deserve it.
“The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” is a good old-fashioned adventure story. As the ship travels to numerous islands, the characters find excitement and face peril. When they aren’t being held prisoner, they are fighting off monsters or having out-of-body experiences. At times, the story sacrifices depth of character in its pursuit of more excitement, but the story is fun to behold regardless.
The adventure is strengthened by the beautiful visual effects throughout. Many of the scenes and the well-crafted ship at the heart of this story are marvels to behold. The 3D doesn’t add much but the 2D special effects look great.
Although the film can be appreciated on a non-religious level, there are also many religious references for families to enjoy during the holiday season. At one point, Reepicheep notes that “we have nothing, if not belief.” This story has a lot to offer those families looking for a good time with a moving and enjoyable motion picture.