[Moving picture of popcorn]

Laramie Movie Scope:
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Once again back into the breach

[Strip of film rule]
by Robert Roten, Film Critic
[Strip of film rule]

May 20, 2008 -- “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” is the latest in a projected series of movies based on the series of books of the same name by C.S. Lewis. Lewis was a Christian apologist, but the Christian message of this film is pretty muted. In fact, in this film there is a war between animals and humans, and humans are the bad guys. That is more like some kind of new age ecological theme than a Christian one.

In this film, heroes Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan Pevensie (played by Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley and Anna Popplewell, respectively, reprising their roles from the first film) find themselves magically plucked from a subway platform to Narnia thanks to a magical horn blown by Prince Caspian (played by Ben Barnes of “Stardust”). The Prince is being pursued by royal troops intent on killing him. Prince Caspian is heir to the throne, but the king wants his own, newborn son to inherit the throne. Prince Caspian has suddenly become expendable. Prince Caspian was told to blow the horn “as a last resort,” but panics as the troops close in. The heroes, however, arrive some distance from the horn. They don't know how or why they have been summoned and don't know what they are supposed to be doing in Narnia. One thing slowly becomes clear: a great deal of time has passed since their last trip to Narnia a year ago, about 1,000 years in Narnia time. The world they once knew well has changed.

Men dominate the kingdom of Narnia now. The animals and magical creatures, such as centaurs have fared poorly under the rule of man. The creatures befriend Caspian, and he in turn vows to repair the relations between the kingdom of men and the creatures of Narnia if he can ascend to the throne. Joined by the four kings of old, Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan, Prince Caspian and the creatures of Narnia go to war with the evil king and his troops, planning to establish a new order. The armies of man are powerful, though. As a last resort, Susan is sent to seek the help of Aslan, the all-powerful Lion god of Narnia. Only Susan's childlike faith can summon forth the great beast. In addition to the usual assortment of mythical creatures and more normal animals, like badgers who can talk, this story includes some very feisty fighting mice, a bit reminiscent of the “Puss 'n Boots” character in “Shrek.” The fighting mice add a much-needed note of humor in this otherwise grim and violent film. If anything, the special effects and digital animation are better in this film than they were in the first film. The film's downbeat mood and grim nature of all those battle scenes are wearing on the viewer. The film moves slowly at times and it is overlong at nearly 2.5 hours. There is very little character development in the film. Most of the characters are very thin. Most of the younger actors are not called upon to do much acting. It is a passably good action film, but it doesn't really deliver much more than that. This film rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

[Strip of film rule]
Copyright © 2008 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
[Strip of film rule]
Back to the Laramie Movie Scope index.
[Rule made of Seventh Seal sillouettes]

Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)