This was just a terrible movie. Just- just terrible. Like, I was watching the climax and I turned to my sister and asked how much longer we had left. That’s how bad this movie was. I hadn’t read the books before, I’ve just started the first one today, but I could tell you even then that it was clearly a good story that was incredibly clumsily translated to movie form. Like, the shift from book to screenplay severely hurt it and then the same guy who did that tried to direct it. And if I had to guess I’d say he had never, in his entire life, directed a movie before. It’s the only explanation. And they changed things that made absolutely no sense. Like Lyra’s uncle/ dad in the movie is a good guy, complicated, but by all appearances a good guy. I’ve read about fifty pages of the book and a quick peek at the ending and already I can tell you he is very much not. And they made how Lyra ends up in the cupboard to overhear the stuff about Dust and to save her uncle from poisoning way more complicated in the movie than in the book. Isn’t it usually the other way around? What was the point of that? And also, the chick who played Lyra was kinda obnoxious. I almost expected a golden glow to pop up around her head during this movie, proclaiming her role as the Chosen One. She never showed any fear or doubt or hesitancy, any of the things that one would expect from a, what ten year old girl, who’s on a big, life threatening adventure. There’s no character development or insight into who she is. They call her brave, but as she never shows any fear, I wouldn’t call her brave. Without fear, there is no courage, so if she had no fear, she had no courage, I don’t care what they said.
On the upside, it had Ian McKellan in there and I always enjoy him. And the giant, talking warrior bears was mildly interesting. Not as much as I expected mind you, and not nearly as interesting as that last sentence really called for, but they were what, in any other movie, I would call a high point. I’ll let you know about the book, but honestly it can’t be worse than the movie. I’m not sure that that’s possible.