The fantasy film The Golden Compass was released in the United States on December 7, 2007. It stars Nicole Kidman as an evil and influential woman who has children abducted in order to separate them from their familiars (daemons). Dakota Blue Richards is an orphan (Lyra) who is taken in by her uncle (Daniel Craig), a professor who goes to the North to investigate the link between humans and the daemons. Freddie Highmore voices Lyra’s familiar Pantalaimon and Ian McKellan voices the bear warrior Iorek Byrnison.
If a story is well-written in this genre of fantasy, then I have no problem with the book or the movie. The Golden Compass, however, is a film that has a troubled past. Part of the problem stemmed from pressure to create another Lord of the Rings style movie. This is a film that had high hopes that, unfortunately, failed. The acting, CGI, and photography were all good, but the story line is weak in some parts. It is obvious from the ending speech by Lyra, that this was supposed to be part one of a trilogy, since the original books were a trilogy. It seems there may have been conflicts between the director and the studio, I’m not sure, but a Golden Compass 2 or 3 doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
It has been 11 years since the original Golden Compass came out and I’ve seen it only two times. Its a good enough film for children and some adults may enjoy it, but its not good enough for me to want to add it to my collection. In spite of the good acting, the weakness of the script was the major flaw of this film. I give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5.