The animated film Epic is anything but, but it does have some nice things about it. Colin Farrell gives an engaging vocal performance as ... I can't really remember his character's name, not that it really matters. He plays a tough soldier, a "Leaf Man," and he gets to use his own Irish accent. I actually can't remember any of the character's names. It's a very ephemeral movie. It's undeniably sweet and pretty, but it's as fleeting as a summer's day. Maybe that's the point.
The animation is beautiful, set mostly in a magical forest. Comic relief comes in the form of Chris O'Dowd and Aziz Ansari, who are suitably amusing as a couple of snails — pardon me, that's a snail and a slug — who befriend young heroine Amanda Seyfried, who like Alice, gets magically miniaturized. Teenage Mary Katherine, or M.K., as she prefers to be called (I looked the character's name up on imdb) must help her new friends save the world from the evil Mandrake (Cristoph Waltz), who has cornered the bad guy market in recent films.
Less impressive are Beyoncé as a fairy queen and Josh Hutcherson as a smart-alecky teen. The movie shares some similarities to the other recent adaptation of a book by William Joyce, holiday fare Rise of the Guardians. Wise-cracking youth — check. Gorgeous animation — check. Extremely nasty villain — check. Fairy tale theme — check.
These are all actually great things to have in a kid's movie. I just wish that maybe the two young leads from different worlds, what's-her-name and who's-he-what, were just a tad more memorable characters. Still, considering that most of the multiplex fare is completely unsuitable to take the kid to, Epic is actually a fine and fun way to spend some time on rainy day.