You’d think I would be standing in line to see a movie that supposedly promotes atheism in children and is condemned by the Catholic Church.
The problem with the Golden Compass is that it tries so hard to not piss anyone off and be a family film that it totally misses the point of the material. To be fair, I’ve never read the source materials – His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (it’s on my To Do List). But it’s still pretty obvious that the film is watered down. The allegory is so vague that I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why the Catholic Church would even care – until I started doing some research on the press surrounding the film’s release. It turns out that the film was boycotted not because of its actual content, but because it might lead children to read the strongly atheistic series of books. That’s fucking retarded. That’s like saying that kids reading the Harry Potter books are at danger of becoming wizards – oh wait, they DO say that. Why can’t they come out against that Twilight bullshit?
Take away the supposed controversy and hidden meanings in the material, and you’re left with a surprisingly violent, surprisingly boring family film. Outside of Nicole Kidman’s casting as the most evil nemesis since the Wicked Witch of the West, the rest of the cast was nothing to write home about. Casting Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee in every fantasy film that comes down the pipe is getting old and tired. The action scenes were a snooze…except for the FUCKING POLAR BEAR FIGHT. It was so fucked up that I had to rewind it and watch the end again. “Did that polar bear just do what I think he did?” I’ll never be able to drink Coca-Cola again.