The Golden Compass

Rated 1.0

No, I did not read the novel before seeing the film, and nothing in this shimmering disaster made me want to read it, either. A pointless, meandering plot that offers none of the provocative theological questions the novel allegedly proposed, it’s an expensive journey into nowhere. As this film played out before me, I found nothing besides a polar bear smackdown even remotely engaging. The film presents a sort of alternate universe where things are run by something called the Magisterium. In the novels, this is supposed to be organized religion, but director Chris Weitz doesn’t have the balls to present things as such. Instead, we get a young female protagonist (Dakota Blue Richards) trying her best to entertain, with the likes of Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman more or less phoning it in. New Line was hoping to have their big money follow-up to The Lord of the Rings series. I think they had better make nice with Peter Jackson tomorrow, and get that new movie of The Hobbit on the fast track.