Epic (20th Century Fox, 2013)
Due to a day off of work with both kids off school, it was my job to occupy my hatchlings yesterday. While my wife worked remote yesterday, she wasn't getting any work done. It was cold for this time of year (high of 60 degress Fahrenheit, 40s in the morning here in Metro Detroit), and I needed to get them out of the house. My son has been bugging me about seeing this movie for months. The marketing reach of this crap never ceases to amaze me. It's like they beam trailers directly into the minds of children.
Epic is a predictable, formulaic, yet extremely pleasant film. The CGI animation is breathtaking and everything about the story works, even if I saw everything coming a mile away. That's okay, this movie is not made for me, it was made for my children. My son is 6.5 and my daughter is 3.5, and they loved it. There were a few parts that were a little intense for her, but she liked it nonetheless. We saw it in 2D because I am sick and tired of paying extra for the gimmicky 3D in films.
The basic gist is that you have your “green” nature Leafmen types who are the heroes, and the slug-like bad guys, the “rot”, who wear skeletons and skins of rats and other dead animals. They look pretty cool. So the green queen lady has to pick a rosebud to be the new queen because it is the once every 100 years full moon/solstice or whatever. If the rot/ bad guys can steal it and it blooms in darkness and not by the light of the moon then decay will rule the world. Cue lots of battles and flying birds and bats with riders aerial-type battles and other cliches.
The human element is courtesy of a teenage girl and her absent minded professor of a father. He believes in little people, and his obsession with finding them ended up ending his marriage. His wife is out of the picture for some unspecified reason and his teenage daughter is sent to live with him in the countryside where he is doing his research. Cue the predictable father/daughter reconciliation, the “Gee, Dad wasn't such a quack even though he neglected his family my entire life” feel good ending and you have Epic. It's very good for what it is, and if you have kids they will love it.
You know who else loved it? The middle aged weirdo who came to the show by himself and sat four seats away from us. He looked like a creep and laughed loud and obnoxiously, like Robert DeNiro in Cape Fear. We were at a 10 A.M. showing and there were maybe a dozen people in the theatre, and yet he chose to sit in our row FOUR SEATS AWAY FROM US. Creep. If he would have so much as looked at my kids I would have thrown my pop at him. He probably has a collection of My Little Pony toys and refers to himself as a Brony.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.