The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
In the second instalment of the Narnia film adaptations, the Pevensie children are summoned back to CS Lewis’ fantasy kingdom by Prince Caspian’s blowing of a magic horn, expecting lion king Aslan to rear his head and overthrow the evil Telmarine’s occupation over the land’s magic creatures. Having earlier defeated the White Witch’s eternal winter, the children face a more human foe this time round, and Narnia, a thousand years on, is a very different place to the place they left as Kings and Queens.
Under Andrew Adamson’s direction this is a slick, fast-paced romp through dark woods, underground caverns and fierce battles, but it lacks the bite and darkness of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, playing too much on the side of caution for the children present. The plots of the Narnia novels aren’t particularly complicated but the film is patronisingly simplistic, reducing the narrative and script to a dull dribble rather than bringing the strange and sometimes frightening creations of CS Lewis’ imagination to vivid life. For anyone who hasn’t read the books, the connection that the children have to Narnia, having ruled over the kingdom in their previous visit is completely lost, and Caspian, the central character, is essentially just a pretty face. Even with Prince Caspian’s big budget, the film is fantasy by numbers; there’s no feel for the magnitude of the war being waged or what is at stake.
General release from Thu 26 Jun.