Gavin Greig (ggreig) wrote,
Gavin Greig
ggreig

The Dark Is Rising

Better it had sunk. Read the books instead.

October 21, 2007 by
photo Gavin T.D. Greig
Kingsbarns
The Dark Is Rising (a.k.a. The Seeker)

★☆☆☆☆

Better it had sunk. Read the books instead.

Oh, alright, maybe I had better say a little more than that. Here is how not to make a successful movie adaptation: take a series of children's books that rejoice in mixing British legend with modern life, replace the central family with an American one, reduce the mysterious Merriman Lyon to a quipping cipher (though Ian McShane in this role really looks the part for ), and ignore four out of the five books altogether, reducing the best known one to a hammed-up chase through time collecting the magic twinkies. Do not bother providing explanations for any of the weirdness that is going on, rely on modifying the book's trivial betrayal to replace the much more interesting and poignant one, and certainly do not touch on any of the legends that made the books worth reading in the first place.

There's more - for example, the Dark Ages warrior whose entire vocabulary appears to consist of "grunph" is a classic of poetically sparse characterisation (cough) - but you don't really need to know. Just avoid this movie if you ever cared for the books. Even if you don't know the books, you will probably find the movie intellectually unsatisfying if your age has advanced into double figures.

Please may they never get their hands on Alan Garner.

0.3

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Tags: books, movies, review
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