Movie review: 'Epic' is a snooze in the forest

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The computer-animated adventure "Epic" matches artistic visuals with a story that's like watching paint dry.

Based on "The Leaf Men" books by children's author William Joyce (whose books also inspired "Rise of the Guardians" and "Rolie Polie Olie"), "Epic" tells of an eternal struggle in a forest. Representing life is Queen Tara (voiced by Beyoncé Knowles), a powerful and wise ruler guarded by the Leaf Men. The forces of decay are led by the nasty Mandrake (voiced by Christoph Waltz).

When Tara is set to choose a bud to take over her reign, Mandrake sees a chance to steal the bud and raise it in darkness. The bud finds an unlikely protector in M.K. (voiced by Amanda Seyfried), a human teen who doesn't believe her scientist father (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) about the Leaf Men — until she's magically shrunk so she sees them herself.

Director Chris Wedge ("Ice Age" and the Joyce-designed "Robots") gives us gorgeous views of the forest, but the story's predictability — and resemblance to 1992's "FernGully: The Last Rainforest" — makes for a pretty, dull ride.; —



Opens Friday, May 24, at theaters everywhere; rated PG for mild action, some scary images and brief rude language; 102 minutes.