Perhaps it didnt ignite the box office in quite the way itd been hoped, but thats little reason to pass over the qualities of The Golden Compass
now it arrives on DVD. Based on the Phillip Pullman novel His Dark Materials
--itself the start of the Northern Lights
trilogy, the film isnt without a few problems, but emerges as a quality adaptation.
And you certainly cant fault The Golden Compass for sheer ambition. The story, for those new to the series, is primarily that of 12-year old Lyra, who is in search of her friend who has been kidnapped. Naturally, this proves to be quite a challenging adventure, not least because its through Pullmans vividly imagined world, crossing dimensions as Lyra travels. The film, while toning down and fiddling with some elements of the source material, stays quite close to the book, and it proves to be a good, if not Lord Of The Rings-standard, adaptation.
What helps The Golden Compass, on top of the strong effects work and scope of the production, is a solid cast, featuring the likes of Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman and Dakota Blue Richards. And it certainly whets the appetite for the next instalment in the series. Whether the muted box office returns put pay to that remains to be seen: for now, at least, The Golden Compass is a good, solid family movie thats easy to enjoy. --Jon Foster
Big-budget children's fantasy adventure adapted from the first instalment of Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards), a twelve year-old girl living in an Oxford somewhat dissimilar to the one we're used to, goes off in search of a friend who has been kidnapped by 'the Gobblers'. In this alternate world, where a person's soul appears outside the body in the form of an animal called a 'daemon', and witches and talking bears co-exist, a shadowy organisation called the 'Magisterium' controls the population, keeping them in check. As she embarks on her quest to find her friend, Lyra is soon involved in an epic battle against the forces of darkness in a desperate attempt to save her world.