Prince Caspian is a much darker, more brooding follow-up to The Chronicles of Narnia. In some ways it is better—it doesn’t have first film’s uneven pacing. The only time this film drags is in the ending. There are battle scenes almost worthy of Braveheart, without the blood, since Prince Caspian is a children’s movie.
Returning from the original film are the Prehensile kids, which include Lucy (Georgie Henley), Edmund (Skander Keynes), Peter (William Moseley), and Susan (Anna Popplewell). A year in film time has passed since their last adventure. In Narnia, this equals 1300 years, and everything has become war torn, not as they remember it. The residents of Narnia have disappeared and are simply seen as mythical characters. We, the viewers, know their existence to be true.
The kids again team with creatures that include Minotaur, Centaurs, and even a sword-wielding mouse that provides the comic relief (I have a feeling the mouse is Disney’s creation, not C.S. Lewis’s; if anything, he is less annoying than Jar Jar Binks).
Two of the more memorable characters are Trumpkin (The Station Agent’s Peter Dinklage) and Nikabrik (Warwick Davis), who help the children along the way. The former, despite his small size, proves to be brave and develops a close relationship with Lucy. This is definitely one of the more affecting story lines.
What really makes this film pop are the all-out battle scenes, one of which involves a surprise attack on the castle at night. The finale, which supports the price of admission, involves the trees and the water coming alive. Seeing this spectacle on the big screen is essential to appreciating it. Much has been said about the parallels to the Bible and, as in the previous film, if look hard you will find them.
In Prince Caspian, the characters question the existence of Aslan (again voiced by Liam Nesson) and his apparent absence when all the atrocities happened. This is something the film should have explored further and hopefully will in the upcoming The Voyage of Dawn Tender, the next Narnia film.
I have a feeling this series is akin to the Harry Potter films, which got darker with each installment. If that’s the case, you can count me in. B+
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