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MOVIE REVIEW: Chronicles of Narnia-Prince Caspian (PG ***)

May 25, 2008

Hi everyone.  I know You haven’t heard from me most of this week.  It’s been a crazy week in a bad way, and I just couldn’t think of anything worth discussing in my blog.  In all honesty, you don’t need me to ramble on for nothing.  Having said that, on with the review:

Have you ever gone back to a place you love to visit, only to find that NOTHING is the way that you remember it, or worse still, it’s no longer the safe haven you used to think it was?  This is exactly what happens to the Pevensie children (although teenagers and pre-teenagers would be a better description here) at the start of PRINCE CASPIAN.  Truthfully, what happens first is an assassination attempt on young Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes).  It turns out that Caspian’s uncle Miraz (Sergio Castellitto) wants his OWN newborn son to be the new king of Telmar over the rightful heir Caspian.  There’s only one thing the young prince can do, and that is to summon the Kings and Queens of Narnia for help.

Meanwhile, back in London, the Pevensies discuss the possibility of ever returning to Narnia while waiting for the train to school.  Sure enough, their Underground platform becomes the gateway to Narnia, but as I said, it’s not a happy homecoming.  The Pevensies soon discover a Narnia in ruins.  Not even their once grand palace is spared.  Worse still, the trees aren’t talking anymore, and the animals have become savage again.  Thus begins the Pevensies’ journey to find out what has happened.

With the help of a dwarf named Trumpkin (Peter Dinklage, an actor whose work I’m really beginning to enjoy), our heroes learn all about the new dangers of Narnia.  We also learn that Miraz’s plan is to eliminate ALL remaining Narnians so that the Telmarine s will dominate everywhere under Miraz’s tyrannical rule.  The Pevensies, Trumpkin and Caspian must unite their forces to defeat Miraz and save Narnia.  And yes, Aslan does help out, although we only really see him in the final act.  That’s a pity, because Aslan is such a great character, especially with Liam Neeson’s gentle voice behind it.

Most of what I enjoyed in the first NARNIA movie is present here.  There’s some exciting action sequences, including a night raid on Miraz’s castle, which demonstrates that you don’t need a lot of dialog to make a scene exciting.  The dialog is often peppered with clever one-liners, which demonstrates the writer’s desire to keep us engaged and paying attention.  There are some new forest creature characters that provide some moments of comic relief, and I’m talking here about the band of rodents that do more than their fair share of helping the Narnians.  My only real complaint is that some of the magic and mythology behind Narnia was not present.  This story seemed more intent on action and battle than interesting creatures.  This is the one aspect of the movie that loses points with me, but as Aslan reminds Lucy, “Things never happen the same way twice.”  So, I guess I can understand why there was more swordplay this time.  In the end, the movie does redeem itself with a very touching final scene in Narnia as two of the Pevensies realize that they will probably never return.  You’ll have to see for yourself which two say good-bye for the last time.  That in itself, I think provides a good lesson for us all:  sooner or later we have to say good-bye.  Let’s just hope that this movie is not a good-bye to the series.

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2 comments

  1. the makers of Prince Caspian kept to the original story surprisingly well, all thinks considered… i heard they were going to make it into a silly pure-action flick, but thankfully this was not the case


  2. That’s a huge credit to Walden Media. Their first rule is always to stay true to whatever book they are adapting to film. I wish more media outlets were as conscientious. Again, i just wish there had been a little more magic, but if that is how the book is, then that is how it must be presented.



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