After all the controversy it stirred with all the Anti-God, it hates God mumbo-jumbo, it's time to take The Golden Compass for what it is, a movie. A fun, exciting, world of fairy tale, which was extremely interesting and enjoyable. I did not for a second assume that the film was purposely attempting to teach any of its viewers about a life of propaganda. And, as scary as this is for me to say, The Golden Compass was better than the second to last Star Wars, and it ran circles around the latest Chronicle's of Narnia fiasco.
Chris Weitz, does more than an above average job in directing his first feature since 2002's "About A Boy." The Golden Compass follows a young girl Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards, who -mark my words- will be a huge success in Hollywood. And I'm not talking child star days success such as Dakota Fanning or Haley Joel Osment. I'm talking more Drew Barrymore, if not bigger... All in all, Dakota Blue Richards was amazing, and she has her best years ahead of her). Now, back to the movie, Lyra is given a truth-telling golden compass and told that she holds the key to the upcoming battle between good and evil. "It is an Alethiometer. It tells the truth. As for how to read it, you'll have to learn by yourself." As Lyra learns about the Alethiometer and how to use it, Marisa Couler, played by Nicole Kidman, who asks Lyra if she would like to travel to the North with her, approaches her. Lyra, needing to go to the North, agrees to leave with Marisa, and this is where the journey begins. On her quest -sorry if it sounds like Lord of the Rings- she comes face to face with Lee Scoresby, played by the underrated Sam Elliott who tells Lyra that her journey to the North could be very dangerous, and she should get an armored bear to protect her. Now, without including any spoilers, Lyra, Lee, an alcoholic armored warrior bear, and the help of beautiful witches led by Serafina Pekkala (Eva Green - The Dreamers, Kingdom of Heaven, Casino Royale) Lyra is prepared to do all she can to save the world. Daniel Craig is also in the film in a little larger of a role than just a cameo as Lord Asriel... (No, not Gargamel's pet cat in the Smurfs).
Confusing? Maybe! But it all comes together in a fast-paced sort of way. There is not a single second that bored me in this film. I was amused the whole way through. My favorite part of the story is that every single character has a Demon counterpart played by the role of an animal that has to be by their side at all times. If the character hurts, the animal Demon hurts. It the animal Demon is in pain, the character is in pain. It was fascinating to see which animal was incorporated with which character. The Golden Compass is a fantasy film worth seeing.
Finally, (Spoiler Alert)... I was not aware that The Golden Compass was written as a trilogy; however, I was also not in the least bit upset when it ended without ending. Very similar with the ending of the first Lord of the Rings, The Golden Compass leaves you at the perfect time, making you want to see what will happen in the next installment. I will be there, I hope you will too.
'Pat The Movie Guy' gives The Golden Compass --- 3 1/2 Scoops.