Jason's Review of Avalon High
If you don't know how I feel about novels turned into movies I'll let you know, I'm not a fan. Hollywood has this rather annoying habit of changing the plot, characters, title and occasionally genders just to appease somebody in a corporate hierarchy. You don't mess with perfection, those that try tend to flawlessly recreate the wheel. So is this an accurate description of Avalon High? Yep.
The movie in itself was rather good and enjoyable, making this one of Disney's more successful films. Had they not deviated from the original source material the film would have been amazing. To avoid spoiling the film's ending I'll keep things ambiguous as possible. When Arthur and Modred finally reveal their true selves, they are not true to prophecy or legend. This unfortunately makes the rising action and backstory rather redundant. The denouement deviates so far from the build up that you are left wondering how everyone is related and connected to Arthurian lore. Take Lancelot and Gwinevere, although their modern incarnates reenact their past selves, by films end one is left wondering how they can be related to the Arthur incarnate. Although a negative the theme of things are not always as they seem is prominent, and does occasionally help the story to move forward, and surprise the viewer.
Unlike the book the film introduces the character of Miles. After reviewing the novel's summary and character one wonders why his character was even needed. Miles is the awkward geek, but is there some Hollywood rule that says such a character has to present in a movie? As much as I liked the character, he really had no purpose.
I'm going to have to say they completely dropped the ball on Mr. Moore. The books had him as Merlin, but here he is someone else (that's the only big spoiler hint you are getting from me), Merlin is supposed to be wise, and older then any other character in Arthurian lore (with potential exception to the Lady-of-the-Lake), which fits in nicely as a teacher in a high school. Also another stupid oversight, Steve Valentine, who plays Mr. Moore is an accomplished magician. Keeping that character true to form would have been a wise move.
Okay now all the ladies in the house obviously want me to talk about the star Gregg Sulkin. Now obviously I completely avoided mention of him (and his character Will), and Brittany Robertson only because it is difficult to not mention either of them without giving away serious spoilers. I'll just say Gregg's character is the star football player and Brittany's is the new girl in school who is slowly discovering the secrets of Avalon High -- her parents being professors of medieval literature are equally a big help. So girls here's what you want to know Gregg speaks in an American accent, if you listen carefully you can slightly hear his true British tone. To an untrained ear he can pass by as an average American, but in reality just a little more work is needed.
Now after my tirade on the evils of book-to-film and pretty boys and their accents where does that leave the movie? Well despite the comparisons, the film is only slightly flawed. The obvious changes do take their toll on the end, but all-in-all the film is enjoyable and above all watchable.