CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, THE: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER
Third entry in the once-iffy series restored some of the magic that was missing with the bloated Prince Caspian (2008). Also restored were some of the overt Christian themes that were present in the first film and permeate the book series. But casual viewers (like myself) just consider this another episode of the ongoing Narnia series, in which characters from the other movies will make cameos and everything will be neatly wrapped up by the finale.
Set three years after Prince Caspian, the two youngest Pevensie siblings, Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley), are transported back to Narnia along with their cousin Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter). They join King Caspian (Ben Barnes), in his quest to rescue seven lost lords to save Narnia.
Apted (taking over for Adamson) knows his way around an FX-laden epic and truly brings a sense of sea-faring fun to the picture. Also, the performances have deepened a bit: Poulter steals the show as the irritating cousin (who gets turned into a dragon) and it’s nice to hear Neeson’s voice emanating from Aslan the lion again, even if the moment smacks of trying to reclaim the faithful Christian audiences that abandoned Caspian. Despite diminishing results in the US, Dawn Treader was a hit around the world, paving the way for Part IV, The Magician’s Nephew, a prequel. (Fox)
— DENNIS WILLIS