Writer: Chris Weitz (Screenplay) Philip Pullman (Novel)
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Ben Walker, Freddie Highmore, Ian McKellen, Eva Green, Sam Elliott
Plot: In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Been Here Seen This
Story: The Golden Compass starts in a world with parallel universes where the human spirits can walk next to humans in animal form known as daemons, with a Golden Compass being the only way to find the different universes. We meet young Lyra (Richards) who lives with her Uncle Lord Asriel (Craig) who is an adventurer that is seeking the Dust which can travel between universes.
With the children getting taken by Goblers Lyra in her high life promises to search for poor boy Roger’s (Walker). Lyra is chosen by Mrs Coulter (Kidman) to help with her research in the North which just so happens to be where Lord Asriel is heading, in what looks like a battle for the dust.
Learning that Mrs Coulter is behind the missing children Lyra teams up with a host of other characters in the Gyptians as they search for the children and her Uncle before Coulter’s research is complete.
Thoughts on The Golden Compass
Characters/Performance – Lyra is the type of leading child you will need for this type of film, she comes from a rich background, she is curious and brave. Mrs Coulter comes along as the villainous character that believes in the cause she is fighting for with Lord Asriel is the explorer looking to change the future. The rest of the characters do their part well as Lyra goes on her adventure.
Performance wise, Kidman and Craig both do a good job in their roles, but it is Richards that really struggles in the lead role, she is meant to come off posh but too often comes off a common which takes away from the character.
Story – The story is one I have come to believe was butchered from the book, which when you watch you can see, it gets the basics correct but anything which involved developing a character sadly gets forgotten as the film unfolds. The story ends up becoming slightly messy and focuses on just doing action to cover the lack of story.
Adventure/Family/Fantasy – The adventure side of this film should be clear, but it just shows one person’s adventure, I don’t feel the family could enjoy this movie but the fantasy world we find ourselves in does work well.
Settings – The settings all look good with their own fancy way of saying countries we all know in the world just having slight twists on them.
Final Thoughts – If you want a cliff hanger that never gets complete, well here is the film for you.
Overall: This seems like a solid start to the franchise but we will never see the end.