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The four Pevensie children return to Narnia, only to discover that hundreds of years have passed since they ruled there, and the evil King Miraz has taken charge. With the help of a heroic mouse called Reepicheep, and the exiled heir to the throne, Prince Caspian, they set out to overthrow the King, once again with Aslan's help. Written by
In some ways I think film makers who create films based off of beloved books have a hard and thankless job. They must balance the creation of a film that anyone can like while still remaining faithful to the subject matter for the fans of the books. Adamson did this brilliantly in the first Narnia movie creating a rich and deep world faithful to the book while still bringing in those who never did read it. Unfortunately he missed the mark sorely with Prince Caspian.
I tried very hard to separate this film from the book but came up with the conclusion that one can not do that in cases like this. True, movies are never better then the book so you have to go in expecting changes, however this film is so far from the book that if the characters names were changed one would never know it was a Narnia based story. The film felt more like a story someone else wrote and simply pasted names and small scenes from Lewis's book to make it fit the mythos.
First things I like... Miraz was great! He was evil and developed in ways he wasn't in the book and I thought it was fantastic. I also liked how we got to know Miraz general Glozelle. That character showed a man who was on the wrong side but still had honor. He was worthy of what he receives at the end of the movie and was a great addition not included in the book.
Now on with the problems. One of the biggest was the dialog. Long gone is the intelligent flow of language and in its place is a modern interpretation of how people should talk to fit in with todays youth. The children and animals say "Shut up" while the dwarfs pipe up with "Ya gotta be kidding." It is clear that this script was not from the book and was from someone else's work not Lewis's.
Peter and Caspian are not the noble characters impacted by their experience and worthy of leading the Narnians. Peter starts off the film as a whining young man, a mere imitation of the young man we saw in the first film. Peter has little growth from that point never showing any consideration of growth. In fact by the end of the film there is no love for Peter or belief that he is a high King. Caspian is not much better. Caspian lacks humility and any true endearing quality until the end of the film when he admits he feels unworthy to lead (one of the few lines from the book). This moment comes far to late for us to believe there is anything genuine behind it.
The romance between Caspian and Susan is so forced it becomes painful at times. The entire love aspect adds nothing to the characters and merely adds grown factor to poor character development.
Attempts are made at creating drama over the four kids sudden disappearance from Narnia but there is no follow through. Several things have this half thought out feel to them making you wonder if the writers felt Lewis didn't know how to write about characters.
One of the biggest issues is that the lynch-pin for the entire Narnia series is missing for most of the film, Aslan. Aslan is never really referenced through out the first two thirds of the film. The Narnias never mention him or even recognize that he is the major influence for their entire nation. There is a hint at the situation from the book in which the children deal with the fact that only Lucy can see him but what Lewis used to show growth and a major issue of the children's growth in this story is blown over and turned into a three minute trek and dream sequence.
One of my biggest problems is when Lucy tells Peter that a possible reason that Aslan has not appeared is that he is seeing if they are worthy of him showing up. I was very angry at this statement because if there is one thing the first movie showed us and the books make clear it was that Aslan worked for those he cared for, not because of their deeds but because of who he is. Aslan was treated poorly and we lost all sight of the great lion who was loved as a great leader and king from the first film.
All in all I think this film suffers from some one else writing the story they think should have been done, not interpreting the story that was written.
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