Kaena: The Prophecy (2003)

Ultimately, I wanted to like this movie. I really, really wanted to love it, on the contrary, but damn it, I just couldn’t, because Within twenty minutes of the movie I had this very grim sour look on my face and I was just so disappointed. Judging by the trailer and pictures from Entertainment Weekly I thought this would be great, I love fantasy, I love the genre of it, but this just wasn’t anything good. Forgettable, and just plain bleak, too bleak for a child’s cartoon. Not even teenage boys are going to like this, and the reason is it’s just so damn confusing.

For a story marketed to kids the story is just so elaborate and slow, and sluggish. I was waiting for something exciting to happen and it didn’t pull it off once during the events of the movie. The story is confusing and too complex for a child. The blue sun in the bottom of the axis? What child will understand that? And how about explaining what the hell the blue sun, and the axis actually is? Why do they only eat worms? What’s the significance of her drawings and the events that take place? It’s never explained! Why should we care about this story? There’s no point, and nothing here for the audience to relate to. I didn’t relate to anything, and fantasy stories have at least one thing that helps you relate to the characters and involve you but this had nothing.

A movie is supposed to involve the audience and I felt so disconnected by everything that was happening here, and again, I really tried liking it but you can’t find good in obvious flaw. Firstly, the aspect that threw me from the movie was the story. Again, why should we care? What do we have to invest in this that will sit us down and make us pay attention? The scenery is horrible, the world presented here is so one-dimensional, and the mood is so grim and bleak. Even “Akira” had its share of excitement and that’s probably the most bleak anime film I’ve ever seen, and that was much better than this. But there’s nothing to invest in. The world shown here is so limited to a few scenery and settings –none of it is visually pleasing– that I just felt closed off to everything, and what’s worse is that this was dark, very dark to the point where it brings down the audience.

Secondly, it seems the writers were attempting to squeeze in themes of the spiritual and religious but none of it registered within this because it’s done all wrong. Do they even have a religion? Where did those monsters come from? Why does the queen need tree sap to survive? None of it makes the slightest bit of sense. Its like the writer wrote this story without letting the audience in on what was going on, its like he’s writing as if this was an already established story expecting us to just go along and catch on and expects us to know who these people are and what’s going on. It can’t be like that, how about a back story? How about a little more exposition? How about better characters? Yes, the characters are awful in this movie. I was looking for one character to like and I found no one, not the precocious little boy of the village, not Kaena’s vapid love interest, not her grandfather (who was a rip-off of Gollum), not the villains, and not even the heroine herself Kaena.

She’s not unlikable, she’s just so damn boring to watch. She has no personality, has nothing appealing about her except her beauty and there’s not one reason I could think of that we should care what happened to her. Actress Kirsten Dunst sounds bored with this role and even she couldn’t instill some sense of charisma in an otherwise boring heroine. The characters are wooden, vapid, uninteresting, and contrived, and ultimately even Kaena fails to keep the audience on their toes. Secondly, aside from the distracting video game animation, the story was terrible with contrivances everywhere ranging from chosen one’s, to cute alien friends, and monologuing masters, and a love interest, and all of it is just so boring and uninteresting.

Ever watch an episode of a show you’ve never seen before? It’s the third season and you put on an episode, you’re watching but you have no idea what’s going on, who’s whom, and what’s happening? That’s how you’ll feel watching this movie, like you’re watching an episode of a series with a long storyline, and you’ll feel that somewhere the whole story is there, but you won’t find it. The story goes on and on about chosen ones and blue sun’s, and birds, and something about worms and it just rambled to the point where I was bored out of my skull. I love animation, I love fantasy, but with this, it was just terrible. In the end when the climax had completed, I left with nothing, and I felt disappointed. Thought the animation and scenery is dazzling and really manages to become candy for the eyes, this is a pretty terrible movie with a nonsensical plot, senseless story, and boring confusing plotline surprisingly aimed towards children.