MOVIE REVIEW: “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” is voiced by Brad Pitt (World War Z, Bullet Train ), Catherine Zeta-Jones (America’s Sweethearts, Chicago), Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love, Risen), Michelle Pfieffer (Batman Returns, Ant-Man and the Wasp), Dennis Haysbert (24 [TV series], Heat), Timothy West (The Day of the Jackal, Ever After: A Cinderella Story), Adriano Giannini (Swept Away, Ocean’s Twelve), Raman Hui, and Jim Cummings (A Goofy Movie, Balto). It is directed by Patrick Gilmore and Tim Johnson (Antz, Over the Hedge), with the screenplay being written by John Logan (The Last Samurai, Hugo).
Legendary thief Sinbad (Pitt) must retrieve the Book of Peace that was stolen by the goddess Eris (Pfieffer) in order to save his friend Prince Proteus (Fiennes) from execution.
Anyone ever think of the comedian from “Good Burger” when you see this title? No? Well… me neither…
Back when Dreamworks did 2D animation, they released a little adventure called “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.” It’s a film I never heard of until a few years ago, and was surprised to find one Brad Pitt voiced the title role. Since when does that guy do voice acting? Off the top of my head, I can’t think of another situation where that guy simply lent his voice. There’s nothing special to it. It’s just… well… Brad Pitt. And he does a good job, don’t get me wrong. He spearheads a journey taken from an old Middle-Eastern heroic tale, which speaks of a sailor who encounters the supernatural on the open seas. However, Dreamworks takes some liberties, as there’s dragon-looking things, sirens, and Greek gods that make this a melting pot of an odyssey.
When it comes to animated features, this one doesn’t particularly take the cake. It’s serviceable, with a nice journey full of treachery and a typical ragtag group of misfits. I was entertained for the most part, as the atmosphere Dreamworks created gave enough for me to chew on. Some sequences are cooler than others, as are the characters. I think what works best for “Sinbad” is the chemistry between its leads. That being Sinbad and Marina (Zeta-Jones). Their rivalry and deep-seated love for one another is the driving force of this adventure. Sure, you’ve got monsters and great peril to endure, but its the interpersonal relationships that I am here for. Sinbad and Marina’s is done well, and leads to a satisfying conclusion. Albeit, a rather easy conclusion.
Quite a bit of the momentum of this story is greased by coincidence or easy storytelling. I never felt on the edge of my seat, as there never seemed to be a moment where our heroes couldn’t pull through. Granted, I understand how this works: the heroes have to win. However, there isn’t much of an effort made to make you second guess. And when it comes to Sinbad having his way? Well… that’s another element that is served on a silver platter. Specifically, when it comes to his friend Prince Proteus. The man has no evil bone in his body, and a man that good makes things a bit unbelievable. It adds to the sappy, simple nature of this film that, while harmless and nice, doesn’t do much for me.
There are highlights, mind you. The animation is solid (aside from the cringey, outdated 3D effects they try to implement), as well as the voice acting. If you enjoy adventures on the open seas, this one has some fun content to explore. The set pieces are cool and the action sequences are well directed. Everything from an aesthetic sense fits the bill of what the filmmakers are trying to accomplish. It’s just nothing that special is all.
If you are looking for a nice, harmless animated flick for the whole family to watch, “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” is a solid choice. It’s enjoyable with a leading chemistry to root for. Though it may not stand out in a sea of animated films, it gets the job done and offers the fun where it can. FINAL SCORE: 73% = Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: