Rating: 3 Pulses
William Mosely, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley, Liam Neeson, Eddie Izzard
Directed by Andrew Adamson
It’s time to go back to Narnia. Only moviegoers, and the Pevensie children will find their beloved world much altered.
The high-gloss sequel to 2005’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has all the child-friendly sensibilities you’d expect from a Disney film based on C. S. Lewis’ classic Narnia series. Despite having many action fighting scenes, the film is nearly bloodless.
Producer, director and screen play writer Andrew Adamson has admitted he was going for a darker feel in Prince Caspian. The first sound in the film is a woman’s childbirth screams. Our Narnian warriors are a darker, scruffier bunch than they were in the first film. Adamson even fabricates an entire additional elaborate battle scene that doesn’t appear in Lewis’ classic.
The additional battle is just one of the many liberties Adamson and his crew took with the story. Narnia purists will have the normal problems that serious fans have at film adaptations. Where’s Bacchus?
However, even purists will agree, Prince Caspian is a lovely, thorough film, with a few tasteful adaptations.
Highlights include Eddie Izzard’s brilliant interpretation of Reepicheep, a warrior rat who travels with a rapier on his hip and a red plume on his head. Peter Dinklage is also endearing as Trumpkin, although his character isn’t developed as fully as I would have wished. The depth of his character in the novel isn’t completely revealed on film.
The Pevensie children are played with unspectacular skill. Nothing is particularly wrong about the performances of Moseley, Popplewell, Keynes and Henley. They are solid and unremarkable.
The addition of Ben Barnes (who plays Prince Caspian) to the cast is a boon. The British actor is not only completely yummy to look at, he pulls off his faux-Spanish accent with all the glory of Mandy Patinkin’s performance in The Princess Bride.
Liam Neeson is back as the voice of Aslan, the huge, golden lion, providing a deity-figure in Lewis’ allegory.
The next chapter of the Narnia saga takes place in a lush, heavily wooded land. Each vista is beautiful in its own way.
The soundtrack is even more beautiful. Classical sweeps of original music composed by Harry Gregson-Williams provide a sweeping background for the tale. A simple, sweet song by Regina Spektor plays as the world of the Pevensies and Narnia transition.
It’s a gorgeous film, with a little bit of something for everyone.