The magical world of C.S. Lewis beloved fantasy comes to life once again in Prince Caspian, the second installment of The Chronicles Of Narnia series. Join Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy, the mighty and majestic Aslan, friendl... more »y new Narnian creatures and Prince Caspian as they lead the Narnians on a remarkable journey to restore peace and glory to their enchanted land. Continuing the adventure of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe with more magic and a brand-new hero, Prince Caspian is a triumph of imagination, courage, love, joy and humor your whole family will want to watch again and again.
You may find Narnia a more savage place than you remember
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 08/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Imagine finding a magical kingdom in another world... only to return over a thousand years later, and find it in ruins.
That's the whole idea of "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," a superb sequel to "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe." While it has a climax that goes on WAY too long, this movie shows us the darker side of C.S. Lewis' fantastical world -- with a heavy dose of Shakespearean villains, political intrigue, and some spectacularly epic battles.
It's been 1,300 years in Narnia, and the human Telmarines have invaded and driven the native Narnians underground. Aslan hasn't been seen in centuries.
And when King Miraz's (Sergio Castellitto) wife gives birth to a baby boy, his nephew -- the rightful heir -- becomes an obstacle. Young Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) flees from his treacherous uncle, and is discovered by a band of Narnians. Along the way, he accidentally ends up summoning the ancient Kings and Queens of Narnia -- also known as the Pevensie children, who were waiting at a train station when they were unexpectedly sucked trough a tunnel.
Though initially delighted to have returned to Narnia, the Pevensies are horrified when they find that their once-idyllic land has been nearly destroyed. Caspian has been organizing a ramshackle army of native Narnians, but Peter (William Moseley) finds that fighting an organized, armed force is very different from battling the White Witch. And after a disastrous attack, the Narnians are facing almost certain destruction -- but Lucy (Georgie Henley) is convinced that Aslan can somehow save them, and restore the kingdom to Prince Caspian....
"Prince Caspian" is definitely a darker story than its predecessor -- good guys die, coups fail, evil machinations succeed, the castles are grimy, some of the good guys turn bad for real, and a bleak, hopeless feeling suffuses much of the movie's second half. Even our heroes have to deal with their doubts and anger, especially since Aslan is conspicuously absent for 95% of the entire film.
And if the first film was a colorful fantasy adventure, then this one is a military story with all the necessary action trappings -- spectacular aerial drops, castle-wide massacres, and a spectacular finale involving a massive pit, tree roots, a river, and catapults. But Adamson also packs in as much violence as a PG-rated movie can contain -- while there's only a few drops of actual gore, there's plenty of beheadings, shootings and stabbings.
But Narnia itself has lost none of its charm, and Adamson lingers lovingly on the sunlit forests and quiet rivers for as long as he can. And though the story is grim, he sprinkles it with plenty of humor (the bound-and-gagged cat) and fairly snappy dialogue. One of the most spectacular scenes involves a very familiar character speaking from inside a sheet of shimmering ice, as Caspian is dragged into a necromancer's ritual. It's really rather creepy.
Problems with the movie? Well, the climactic battle drags on for a LONG time, and every time you think it'll end, it revs back up. And those masked soldiers are a wee bit too reminiscent of "300's" Persians.
The four Pevensie actors all do solid jobs, although William Moseley is the standout -- Peter is struggling with doubt and a bit of alpha rivalry, especially since he's used to being Narnia's top dog. Barnes starts off a little stiffly -- come on, where's the fear when you see your bed turned into a pincushion? -- but soon grows into the difficult role of a Hamlet-like prince who is struggling to become both a Narnian friend and a Telmarine king.
But there's a pretty brilliant supporting cast as well: Castellitto is simply outstanding as the ruthless, icy-cold Miraz, as are Damián Alcázar and Pierfrancesco Favino as his scheming advisors. Warwick Davis does a low-key, malevolent turn as Nikabrik, while Peter Dinklage is the likably brusque, cynical Trumpkin. And Eddie Izzard is top-notch as the mousy swashbuckler Reepicheep -- this could have a silly, comic-relief character, but he does end up being both adorable and formidable.
There are going to be two versions of the "Prince Caspian" release in either blu ray or regular versions. The more embellish DVD version basically has the film, plus an extra bonus disc with the stuff you'd expect in such a movie: bloopers, deleted scenes, and a series of featurettes about the making of the movie -- previsualization, fight choreography, sets, special effects, and the guys who play the dwarves Trumpkin and Nikabrik. As for the third disk, it's going to be a downloadable digital version of the movie.
"Prince Caspian" drops the children's fantasy feeling, in favor of a darker, more militaristic story -- especially with all that father-murder stuff. But despite its darker overtones, it never forgets the light side."
Just okay, mostly disappointing
Janet M. Barbieri | Placerville, CA United States | 11/26/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"In the very slim chance that Disney reads these reviews, I'd like to pile on to other criticisms in the hope that the Dawn Treader doesn't make the same mistakes. As a huge C.S. Lewis and Narnia fan, I was so disappointed in Caspian. Same reasons as many other reviewers: too many unnecessary liberties taken; little dialogue, so very little way to connect with and enjoy the characters; too grim; etc. At the end of the movie, I felt like I didn't get to spend any time with the characters b/c most of the movie was some sort of battle.
Sure, there were a few good things. Reepicheep was great; so was the DLF. The scenery and landscapes were beautiful. Some of the battles (or parts of battles) were enjoyable and had a sense of honor and bravery. But that's about it. Caspian was okay, a little boring. The posturing between Peter and Caspian was silly, as was the flicker of romance between Caspian and Susan. Not enough of Aslan. Not enough of Lucy. No lessons. Nothing anywhere near the charm of Mr. Tumnus.
You know how at the end of some movies (good ones) you have that feeling like you want more of a good thing? You wish the movie would go on and on? (That's why I ripped through all the Narnia books in the first place.) Well, after watching Caspian, I had a feeling of wanting more of what I knew existed in the book but didn't come through in the movie...it was a yearning for what could have been instead of what was delivered. It was a huge disappointment and a real shame. And I truly hope the Dawn Treader can deliver what the first movie did, and what the books all do....a real connection to the characters and a reason to start thinking about what it means to believe in something and to stand up for your beliefs. I don't think that notion is incompatible with making a block-buster of a movie."
Good, but not great
Melissa Niksic | Chicago, IL United States | 05/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Prince Caspian," the second installment in the "Chronicles of Narnia" series, takes place one year AND 1,300 years after "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." The Kings and Queens of Narnia, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, have only been absent from their kingdom for one year in London time. However, when they are suddenly called back to the magical world, they discover that 1,300 years have passed since their reign. The Narnia they knew is now in ruins, and the throne rightfully belongs to the young Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes). Unfortunately, Caspian is on the run from his uncle Miraz (Sergio Castellitto), who is determined to kill his nephew, take the throne for himself, and secure a royal future for his newborn son. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy eventually join forces with Caspian and attempt to reclaim the throne and restore Narnia to what it once was.
I enjoyed this movie, but not nearly as much as the first film in the series. Part of the reason for that is because "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" has always been my favorite book in the C.S. Lewis series, so I knew "Prince Caspian" wouldn't measure up for me. However, I still think the film itself had some shortcomings. The filmmakers took more liberties with this film than with the last one. Certain things happen out of sequence, and other parts of the film were changed slightly just for the sake of changing them, which really bothers me. Also, the whole Susan/Caspian romance is NOT in the book, and it really pisses me off that Disney felt the need to throw some cheesy love story into the mix of things. (I also hated the sappy, crappy music that played at the end of the film. It was totally out of place. Yuck.)
Still, there are a lot of positive things about the movie as well. The battle scenes are fantastic and the special effects are outstanding. Barnes and Castellitto are the stars of this movie, and they deliver very strong performances. Eddie Izzard provided the voice for Reepicheep the mouse, which was a pleasant surprise. One of my favorite scenes in the film is the one where the White Witch returns for a few minutes, and Tilda Swinton appears in a brief cameo. Liam Neeson also returns to provide the voice of Aslan, but the lion is absent from most of the film, and I remember him being present in the book a bit more...why in the world would they cut Aslan's scenes from the film?! He's the best part of the whole story!
All things considered, "Prince Caspian" is a good movie, but it lacks some of the magic from the first "Narnia" film. Bummer."
A Teen's Review: Very poor adaption
N. Dulin | NC, US | 11/25/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Warning you up front there may be what people would consider a spoiler or two within this review.
After watching the original movie, "the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," I had high expectations for the movie. Especially after I read the book and saw how well they had adapted it into movie form. I even went out and bought the entire Narnian series so that I could read the story before hand and have an idea of the movie plot. ... ... ... What happened? It was as though they took the characters and a few chunks of the story and slapped it together in hopes of making a decent movie. And let me tell you, they failed, quite miserably. The way that they changed important pieces of the plot frustrated me, while other story lines were nearly left out altogether (For instance, they only hint at the part of the book where Lucy sees Aslan and eventually follows him despite the others protest. Then one-by-one the others begin to see him. I have always thought that to be one of the more significant plots of Prince Caspian). And then, then they add senseless plots like when they decided to invade the castle. Though admittedly Peter did "need" that part of the movie to wake him up.
Which brings me to the other major part of the movie that just annoyed me to no end. They made Peter an absolute jerk. He and Caspian were never rivals, and Peter NEVER had any intent to take over/rule/or give orders to Caspian. He essentially saw Caspian as the leader because he would be once they won the battle. Oh, and don't get me started on that ridiculous "potential romance" thing they had between Susan and Caspian (how was that even remotely necessary?)
There were few redeeming qualities of this movie, but they still did exist. I did like the fact that when the witch was summoned (though this technically never happened)Edwin was the one to "destroy" her. It was a nice touch of irony. And then there was the rat and dwarf, who's names escaped me at the moment, which made the movie bearable to sit through. And, that's about it.
I might have enjoyed this movie had I not read the book in advance, but I'll never know. I guess if you haven't read the actual story then you could potentially think it once of the best movies of all time. But I definitely would not recommend this to someone who read and loved the book, it'll probably annoy you just as much as it annoyed me.
I'd also like to note something else - I saw this movie twice. This was only because I was giving it the benefit of the doubt. I thought that perhaps going in a second time without those high expectations would make the movie more enjoyable. Sadly, it did not."
Tell it to the Telmarines
Amanda Richards | Georgetown, Guyana | 05/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One year in England is equal to 1300 Narnian years, and after giving up their thrones and getting back to the school grind, the Pevensies are magically transported back to a Narnia that is unrecognizable to the place they had left just one year earlier
They arrive at the ruins of their former castle Cair Paravel, and find that the chests containing their personal effects and weapons still remain, hidden beyond a secret door. After a fortuitous rescue of the dwarf Trumpkin, they eventually make their way to Aslan's How, a tomb built around the sacrificial stone table of movie one.
While all this is going on, the Telmarine Prince Caspian is having a few domestic problems after his Uncle Miraz sires a son and heir, and decides that two princes spoil the plot. Assisted by his tutor, Caspian finds his way into the woods, where he meets the Narnians, long thought to be extinct.
As you will have guessed, the Prince and the Pevensies join forces with the Narnians to oppose the heavily armed and armored Telmarine forces, and the majority of the movie revolves around the epic battles and skirmishes. Also in the movie, but played down to an extent, is the religious symbolism of the lion Aslan, and the simple faith of the youngest child, Lucy. The characters of Peter and Susan are left to learn from their mistakes, and Edmund finally comes into his own.
I found the movie to be dark and somewhat violent, and even though there's no blood visibly shed on screen, it's pretty obvious that many characters die in one way or another. Personally I have no problem with that, but I'd consider the level of maturity of a child before allowing them to watch this movie.
Mostly faithful to the book, this movie is all about the action.
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):
1. One year of school can feel like 1300 years in Narnia 2. Absence makes the Telmarines grow stronger 3. A king is born - time to get rid of the competition 4. Caspian - out! 5. The woods are lonely, dark and deep, and Caspian makes promises he wants to keep 6. Pevensies take the long road home, after not believing Lucy's lion 7. Caspian meets the Pevensies 8. Inter-species and human violence ensues 9. Epic battle scenes dominate the movie 10. Grand finale and a new beginning