Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
Epic, the animated fantasy adventure, is based off of William Joyce’s children’s book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. Professor Bomba believes that there is a tiny race of people who live in the forest and he's ruined not only his career, but also his marriage to find proof of their existence. After the death of his ex-wife, his daughter Mary Katherine (M.K.) moves in and immediately feels his neglect as he pursues his passion. While attempting to leave home, M.K. becomes magically shrunken and is stunned to discover that her father’s research is correct when she meets the Leafmen. M.K. wants to return home but is forced to help the Leafmen as they war against the Boggans, a race of creatures that are determined to destroy the forest.
I was disappointed by Epic. Voiced by a star-studded cast of performers, Epic should have been more entertaining. The movie fails because it never identifies what type of film it is. It wasn’t funny enough to be considered a comedy—although I did enjoy the pairing of Grub and Mub voiced by Chris O’Dowd and Aziz Ansari. The movie was also not dramatic enough. Epic initially spends too much time setting up the neglectful craziness of Professor Bomba and his lonely daughter when it should have immediately centered on the more interesting forest people; the Boggans or the Leafmen. Even the action sequences were not tense enough to be truly thrilling.
I can’t imagine that young children will find this entertaining because it deals with some big themes and the movie moves to slowly. Children older than eight might enjoy this, but even then, I think it will be quickly forgotten with the release of Monsters University and Despicable 2, which are coming out later this summer. You aren’t missing anything if you decide to skip this movie in the theater—D.
Epic struggles for a number of reasons; chief among them, the fact that the movie doesn’t seem to understand what its audience is. It isn’t goofy or silly enough for young children and it isn’t sophisticated or intelligent enough for older kids or adults. Despite some imaginative animation concepts and very funny contributions from Chris O’Dowd and Aziz Ansari as Grub and Mub, the story never finds its groove and most of the other vocal performances from the star-studded cast are dull and charisma-free. The story is a conservationist parable of the importance of preserving nature, but it was heavy handed and preachy. The movie also felt like it was excruciatingly slow-paced and had me constantly checking my watch in the theatre. With so many amazingly creative and well done entries into the field of animation over the last five years to ten years (Shrek, Tangled, The Incredibles, Despicable Me and Wreck-It Ralph), it is fairly surprising when one falls as flat as Epic did. D