The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

"OK"

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Review


In Clerks II, uber-slacker Randal described the Lord of the Rings trilogy as a series of endless walks. Nothing but nonstop, pointless treks. One has to wonder what his reaction would be to the overwhelming ambulation in the two Chronicles of Narnia films. While The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe had origins and mythos to highlight, Disney's latest entry in the franchise, Prince Caspian, requires a more minimal setup. All returning director Andrew Adamson has to offer as a result is more shoe to footpath action, with the occasional CGI-sparked battle to break up the constant strolling.

It's been a year since Lucy (Georgie Henley), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), Peter (William Moseley), and Susan (Anna Popplewell) Pevensie have been to the magical land that they once ruled as kings and queens. However, 13 centuries have passed in Narnia, and a race of humans known as Telmarines have overrun the kingdom. They have systematically killed off almost all the creatures, and rule by blood and violence. Within the court, Miraz (Sergio Castellitto), brother of the late King Caspian IX, has taken over and threatened the life of the true, titular heir (Ben Barnes). With the help of the returning foursome, Prince Caspian will rally the remaining Narnians, leading them to victory over their evil oppressors.

There's no denying one simple truth -- if you loved the first installment in the cinematic realization of C. S. Lewis' veiled religious allegories, you'll adore Prince Caspian. It has all the same amicable elements that helped make the initial journey to Narnia superficially satisfying. It's clear that the House of Mouse believes that more of the same will secure another box office winner, and while the species have changed (dwarves in place of fauns, mice instead of beavers), the same ambiguous moralizing and good vs. evil pronouncements exist. Like a greatest hits package offered up before another album of fresh, quality material, Caspian simply sticks with the common and the crowd pleasing.

When it doesn't however, Prince Caspian goes strangely catawampus. In an unusual, off-putting choice, every Telmarine speaks with a thick Spanish accent. While the screenplay suggests a rationale for this as part of their heritage, it makes one feel like they've stumbled upon Cortez and his Conquistadors. Odder still, the arrival of additional humans really exaggerates the strained, Renaissance faire quality of the setting. We keep waiting for the Narnian equivalent of a leather mug merchant and the wine wench to show up and start spouting some Old English. Creative cracks like this wipe the luster off of Caspian's capable veneer.

Naturally, the battles win us over, though Adamson won't earn any awards for his busy, frequently flashy camera trickery, with too much obvious animation in the fray. The eventual cameos from the White Witch and Aslan do manufacture the kind of ephemeral magic that the vast majority of the movie is missing, but let's face it -- any film that can reduce the great Peter Dinklage into the kind of cutesy stereotype his career has tried to avoid is idling on aesthetic cruise control. Perhaps if our heroes (including newest party member Barnes) were more compelling, we wouldn't notice the dearth of vision.

Indeed, the main problem with Prince Caspian is the lack of true transcendence. All great epics find a way to take the traditions and truisms that define their premise and amplify their meaning and sense of universality. As viewers, we suddenly recognize, and feel the innate power in, such small virtues. On the page, The Chronicles of Narnia thrived on such fiery faith-based fantasy. On film, said belief is rendered bland.

He slices, he dices, he juliennes.



The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Facts and Figures

Run time: 150 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th May 2008

Box Office USA: $141.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $419.7M

Budget: $225M

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Production compaines: Walden Media, Ozumi Films, Propeler, Silverbell Films, Stillking Films, Walt Disney

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 126 Rotten: 62

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Prince Caspian, as Lucy Pevensie, as Edmund Pevensie, as Peter Pevensie, as Susan Pevensie, as King Miraz, Alicia Borrachero as Queen Prunaprismia, as Trumpkin, as Nikabrik, Vincent Grass as Doktor Cornelius, as Lord Glozell, as Lord Sopespian, Simón Andreu as Lord Scythley, Predrag Bjelac as Lord Donnon, Shane Rangi as Asterius, Cornell John as Glenstorm, as Aslan, as Trüffeljäger, as White Witch, as Reepicheep

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.