Holland’s answer to JK Rowling is behind this coming-of-age quest, which has many features now familiar to teens weaned on Harry, Eragon and the like: the wise old figure with lank grey hair, the significant object, the unwilling hero forced into quest… plus swordfighting and weird outfits. What’s refreshing about this film is its low-tech approach. Great scenery, primarily in forests with beautiful views, enables the jaded parent to zone out. Plot-wise, helpful people pop up rather often to lurch the action forward. ‘It’s all a bit convenient’, commented one 12-year-old expert, who was, however, gripped to the end.
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