First of all, I’m shocked that a film featuring two Academy Award winning actors (Martin Landau, Tim Robbins) and two Academy Award nominees (Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan) based on a popular children’s series is being so wildly ignored as far as publicity and hype goes. I loved the book, and I find Ronan to be a great casting choice, and Tim Robbins is enjoyable in anything, so I can’t imagine that there’s not something for everyone here.
Ignored or not, the trailer looks pretty exciting doesn’t it? Definitely far more exciting and action packed than I would have ever pictured the book as. I’m glad I didn’t see any of this before reading the book, as I may have been disappointed in the lack of action while reading, but instead now I feel I’ll be disappointed by the film. I wish this adaptation could have been treated better, but it looks as though it never stood a chance. Directed by relative newcomer Gil Kenan (Monster House), he has taken a slow, steady, and very dark children’s book and turned it into a thrilling race to escape the city, adding a lot of action that didn’t exist in the novel. The trailer does not waste any time in introducing it’s characters and tries to suck the audience in with excitement instead. In fact, I’m not even completely clear on what character Tim Robbins plays (I guessed Doon’s father and IMDB tells me I’m correct), I didn’t see Martin Landau once, and I thought they had cut the character of Lina’s little sister until I freeze framed one of the last shots in the tunnel and realized there was a small child with them all along.
I loved this book so much that I’ll definitely see this movie, but I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed. And depending on how well it performs this weekend, I hope they changed the ending so it doesn’t blatantly set up the next two movies that may never be made.