Me and Rebecca went to see 'The Golden Compass' last night thanks to a friend offering to babysit. As we went into the cinema we saw the poster for 'Enchantment' and a said something about how we might be better off seeing that, Rebecca agreed, but we both stuck with our original choice. So we're just as much to blame for the average evening.
I'm a big fan of Philip Pullman's incredible 'His Dark Materials' trilogy' and have been nervous of the adaptation, but two words kept entering my brain as we watched 'The Golden Compass'. Pedestrian. Ordinary. I really hope we've seen the last of these big budget fantasy films that have quickly become interchangeable. Stripping the story of it's religious content (leaving some unsatisfactory vagueness about what's going on) and picking key bits from the book and belting through the story at breakneck pace may be the worst crimes here. The actors may be great but we don't see much more than whats on the surface of them. Miss Coulter is particularly disappointing, yes, Nicole Kidman is inspired casting, yes, she is excellent, but only at being aluring and creepy. But Miss Coulter had much more depth to her than just that. It's left to a couple of unsatifactory scenes to give her more depth. It doesn't work.
In the end I didn't hate 'The Golden Compass', I just didn't care, I didn't get involved and I didn't once get the same sense of wonder and awe I got from the book.
About the only really good thing I can say about the film is Sam Elliott is as cool as only Sam Elliott can be. So, insead of youtubing 'The Golden Compass' trailer, here's a brief bit of Sam being cool in what has accurately been described as the best worst movie ever. I give you 'Road House'.