Out & About

May 30, 2013

'Epic' conveys sense of grandeur

A movie has to be brave to give itself a name like “Epic,” which could so easily be coupled with “fail” by film critics.

Fortunately, this particular film succeeds on a small-scale, animated action-adventure level, if not quite an epic one.

Made by the creators of “Ice Age” and “Rio” — directed by Chris Wedge, from the first “Ice Age” (also the voice of Scrat) — “Epic” has a somewhat predictable story, but it’s well-paced, outstanding visually and provides a few well-placed chuckles.

Amanda Seyfried (“Les Miserables”) voices M.K., a kind-hearted young teen who is moving into a secluded, rundown home with her absent-minded, estranged father (Jason Sudeikis).

The dad has dedicated his life to finding tiny humanoid creatures who he is certain live in the forest around him. Sure enough, M.K. finds out that he was right, when she is magically shrunk and thrust into a tiny battle of good vs. evil.

On the side of good are the heroic leafmen, flashing swords and zooming around in formation on hummingbirds, led by the stoic Ronin (Colin Farrell) and the warm, powerful Queen Tara (Beyonce Knowles).

Speaking for evil is Hollywood’s top Nazi voice, Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”), as Mandrake, the villainous leader of the Boggans, a nasty insect-like race who want to rot the forest down to the ground.

Josh Hutcherson voices the dashing and rebellious young leafman Nod — around to clash with Ronin and flirt with M.K. —while the comic relief is provided, satisfyingly, by Grub and Mub, a snail and slug played by Chris O’Dowd (“Bridesmaids”) and Aziz Ansari (“Parks and Recreation”). Steven Tyler voices a wise old caterpillar who knows everything about the forest.

The animated action is fast and flashy, and “Epic” has a surprisingly large-scale sense of grandeur. Ultimately, the film may be a little too simple for adults, but the younger generation will find plenty to like.

Rental Recommendation: Kids battle unseen creatures in their own backyard in “The Spiderwick Chronicles.” Grade: B

Email Steve




Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Colin Farrell, Christoph Walsh

Rated: PG (for mild action, some scary images and brief rude language)

Running time: 102 minutes


Text Only | Photo Reprints

Steve Ouellette's Movie Reviews

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Entertainment Videos
Adam Levine Launches Clothing Line for Women Paul Wesley Sinks His Teeth Into Directing Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Josh Thompson Streams Album to Hook New Fans Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast ShowBiz Minute: Singer, Young, Poehler Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Nas Movie Opens Tribeca Film Festival Zooey Deschanel Adds Designing to Her Repertoire Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Hits the Big Screen Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Swift's Bus Drives Into Country Hall of Fame ShowBiz Minute: Cyrus, Walker, Combs Pedro Pascal Plays 'Game of Thrones'' Red Viper Deeley Shows Acting Chops in Hulu's 'Deadbeat' Ora Strips Efron at MTV Awards ShowBiz Minute: MTV Awards, Lopez, Royals Stars Hit Red Carpet for MTV Movie Awards Conan Backs Colbert, Hosts MTV Movie Awards
CVPH Job Opportunities