A year has passed by since the Pevensie children stepped through the wardrobe. In Narnia, centuries have passed since the defeat of the White Witch. Now the foursome are sent back to Narnia to find that everything was destroyed and the Narnia they once knew is gone forever. They come to aid the young Prince Caspian, who is leading a group of Old Narnians to wage war against his malicious uncle Miraz, who rules Narnia with an iron fist. Will they succeed? When will Aslan return?Written by
The original theatrical version of this film was released by Walt Disney Pictures, but all television, video, and theatrical re-issue versions of the film are distributed by 20th Century Fox. As a result, the current version in circulation opens with a 20th Century Fox logo. This happened as a result of Disney deciding against its distribution deal when it expired in 2010; Walden Media sold its share of the rights to 20th Century Fox that year. See more »
Tired of the scenery known as the real world? Why, step right up and enter the wonderful land known as Narnia. Surrounding you will be plenty of beautiful scenery, hundreds of years of nasty conflict, backstabbing, rising tensions, impending warfare, and attempted genocide. Also surrounding you will be corrupt kings, feisty hostile creatures, wild animals, attacking trees, and enough action to not warrant another visit ever again. The best part is, despite all the hostility, deaths, violence, carnage, and intense material, the MPAA decided to throw in the "PG" rating because of the one main thing Narnia has: enough God symbolism to create sermons for weeks.
Following you on this adventure is Prince Caspian, a prince who does not look his age, does not act his age, and darn it that gives hope to all of the hiding Narnians. However, his very own uncle wants him dead to claim the throne. This is what family does. With the four kids making a return, the five heroes will attempt to conquer the land that was once peaceful and try to bring harmony into the entire community. Helping them is Aslan, the lion from before. However, he is nowhere to be found. Can the kids and the smaller army of creatures win the battle against the forces of Conquistador Evil? Venture on, and you'll find out.
The critters are the only humorous and vaguely positive things on this dismal trip into a bitter and traumatic Narnia. While this keeps the film remotely child-friendly, it does tamper with the mood of the trip. Doesn't help that you have creatures that literally come out of nowhere to give their two cents and offer their services. These critters are not as memorable as the ones in the first trip, and they do not have much character development either. And why on earth do we have a sequel to Puss-In-Boots here? The kids themselves are still not that interesting with the exception of the youngest one and Prince Caspian pretty much gets reduced to being something the ladies in the trip can fawn over endlessly. The villains themselves are much more threatening, but don't seem as menacing as the White Witch from the original journey. Sometimes, the trips into enemy territory looks like you are entering Spain in the Middle Ages; the actors portraying the enemies look Spanish, and even look alike in certain scenes.
Directing the trip is the director of the original voyage, and also the first two Shrek movies, Andrew Adamson. His directing is a mixed bag; as the battle sequences are well-directed, but the one-on-one battles lack range, lack originality, and does the typical slow-down/speed-up action that we see far too often. Also, a sign that there isn't much complexity in the fights is when the subjects are too close to the camera. The cinematography suffers from the direction a little, but does have some great shots of the lush environments in Narnia. At least you know the area is beautiful as you battle into potential death.
Easily the most awe-inspiring moments in the trip to Narnia are the special effects contained in the package. They are so amazing that you don't even realize that most of the characters joining you are CGI. The special effects are at their best whenever the two battles take place, which are both long, both satisfying, and maintain the voyage from being too much of a bore. However, you will be definitely be raising many questions throughout the quest for survival, and sadly, not all are going to be answered. More so, there will be events that will occur out of nowhere and there will be no time to develop them into coherence. Don't worry, they don't run far too long.
Bottom Line: All right, let's get to the nitty, gritty. Kind of like the main flaw of the Matrix, why would anyone want to visit the alter-ego world when there's easily much more peril and suspense? Prince Caspian is a movie that's pretty much saved by the two epic battle sequences and the decent performance of the main character himself, which is sure to make the ladies swoon upon the first time they see him riding on horseback. But everything else about this fantasy movie just feels too been there-done that (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter anyone?) The only difference is the immense amount of Christian themes, symbolism, and allusions---and they'll strike repeatedly throughout the movie. If you enjoyed the milder, weaker version of The Fellowship of the Ring, then you'll enjoy the slightly milder, weaker version of The Two Towers. Otherwise, there isn't anything much added to the table besides characters.
P.S. Lesson learned here is that, in order to make a nasty violent film full of more deaths than a fumigation of a contaminated house maintain the "PG" rating, there must be religious messages tied underneath it all. Funny how religion and warfare comes hand-in-hand even in fiction.
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