Staring Dakota Blue Richards, Nicole Kidman, Ian McKellen, and Daniel Craig “The Golden Compass” is a fantasy that takes place in a world unlike any other. Directed by Chris Weitz and based on the novel “Northern Lights” written by Phillip Pullman.
In a world where human’s souls walk beside them in the form of animals called “daemons”, a orphan girl by the name of Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards) overhears a conversation about Dust. According to Lyra’s uncle, Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig) and his observations on Dust, children are immune to it while adults become tainted by Dust through their Daemons. After recent disappearances of some children, Lyra is asked by her new aquantince, Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman) to join her in her trip to the far north. Before leaving, Lyra is given a golden object called an alethiometer which is capable of telling the truth. Unaware of how to use the alethiometer, Lyra is determined to find the truth about Dust and ultimately rescue the kidnapped children.
In the vein of “The Chronicles of Narnia” this fantasy is far from epic. Although this has more to recommend than “The Chronicles of Narnia” it still fails to amaze its audiences with its unique style of storytelling. There are a couple things that make this decent. One is the special effects. The polar bear fight is something to admire. Another is the acting. Nichole Kidman really stands out wearing one of her sexiest outfits ever.
This fantasy overstays its welcome by an easy twenty minutes. There is really only one scene that stands out. The polar bear brawl is practically the only thing that will dazzle the audience, aside from Nicole Kidman’s sex appeal. This is a loud and unacceptably long adventure that really leads to nothing but questions that won’t be answered until its sequel. The complicated story will make it hard for kids to follow and will leave them asking questions on the ride home.
Overall, this is a contrived story with some noisy effects that ended up being overlong and disappointing. I did enjoy this film far more than “The Chronicals of Narnia” the problem is “The Golden Compass” leaves more questions than answers and depends on a sequel to wrap it all up. Therefore this is amaturish film-making that will not be forgiven by any means. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed in the end.