Wednesday, June 4, 2008

REVIEW: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

The local D & D club took things a little too seriously

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Directed by
: Andrew Adamson

Written by
: Andrew Adams and Christopher Markus (from a novel by C.S. Lewis)


Ben Barnes ... Prince Caspian

Georgie Henley ... Lucy Pevensie

Skandar Keynes ... Edmund Pevensie

William Moseley ... Peter Pevensie

Anna Popplewell ... Susan Pevensie

What's it about?
The Pevensie siblings return to Narnia, where they are enlisted to once again help ward off an evil king and restore the rightful heir to the land's throne, Prince Caspian. (


Going into this film I was incredibly skeptical having watched the irritatingly patronizing Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. However, this time Shrek director Adamson seems to have realized most children who read these books have long since grown and delves into a much darker and brutal story in this second installment of seven films.

The best thing for me about the books was the fact that the author empowered children and didn't skate over the harsh realities of life. In Prince Caspian, neither do the actors or filmmakers this time around. While there still isn't any blood to be seen, there were some harsh moments were throats were cut and valiant soldiers were mercilessly slaughtered. Not much of a kid's film you might think, but you should remember that many parents tried to stop their children from reading the books back in the day. Much like sensitive parents with strict values try to keep Harry Potter from their little tyke's hands today. It's not meant to be all roses and sunshine so this time the people involved in making the film have listened to it's older audience and complied.

While Prince Caspian was a little long for my tastes, all of the actors including newcomer Ben Barnes, did a spectacular job of once again bringing some of literature's favorite characters back to the big screen. I was also overjoyed to find Warwick Davis in a major role as he's long since been on my "must meet" list of stars. Villain King Miraz, played by Italian actor Sergio Castellitto, was truly intimidating as were some of his minions.

Puss in Boots, I challenge you to a DUEL!

I am delighted to tell you the VFX in the film were spectacular. Not a half-rendered monkey in sight! Each animated creature was expertly crafted right down to the finest detail. When the badger appeared, I was astounded at how real they were able to make him look. Mouse warrior Reepicheep will probably be a big favorite under the Christmas tree this year. They all looked so spectacular on screen, including the unbelievable Centaurs, that it didn't even distract me from the actual story.

I think I'm voting this film "Most Improved" for an ongoing movie series and am giving it 3.5/5 Stars. It was highly entertaining yet not quite a masterpiece. Looking forward to the next one!

1 comment:

Jim Gleeson said...

I too saw this second Narnia movie and was impressed with it, despite my skepticism. The acting in it was a lot more believable this time around. I actually felt for the four children as they came to realize that the Narnia they knew had gone to ruin and they could not believe that the magic had ebbed from the place.

Thus the movie did stick to the parable-like overtones of the story. There was the test of faith when one character saw Aslan and the others did not believe her. There was also the disbelief that Aslan would let the world go to ruin so there was the way that the movie dealt with the question of evil and suffering in the world.

I also like the fact that this movie was not preachy in the depiction of these events and did not give an easy answer to it all.

And yes, I agree that the mouse gave welcome comedic relief to the otherwise darker movie, similar to how Star Wars Episode V had the comedic relief of the droids.

If you get a chance checkout the "intense debate" commenting system I heard about at Net@nite and no, I am not related to them in any way.