Friday, June 10, 2016

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

There’s something that I like about an epic tale.  I had known of The Chronicles of Narnia as books since I was a child, but I never read any of them.  When the first movie came out, I eventually rented it on DVD.  I decided that I liked it enough to want to see subsequent movies as they came out.  When this movie came out, I wasn’t able to see it in theaters, but was able to rent it from NetFlix.

The movie starts out in Narnia with a Telmarine (human) Prince Caspian being told that his aunt has given birth to a male child and that Caspian’s uncle (King Miraz) will now kill him so that Caspian’s cousin might become king.  Caspian is able to escape, but hits a branch shortly thereafter and falls off his horse.  He’s rescued by two dwarves and a badger.  As they’re distracting the search party sent to get Caspian, Caspian blows a horn to summon help.

A year has passed on Earth since the first movie.  The four Pevensie children (Edmund, Peter, Lucy and Susan) are on a subway platform going to their boarding school.  They’ve had to adjust to being children again.  (In the first movie, they had grown to adults in Narnia, but became their younger selves upon returning home.)  Shortly after getting on a train, everything breaks apart and is blown away.  They find themselves in Narnia again, where 1,300 years have passed.

They come upon some ruins and realize that it was the castle that they had used in the previous movie.  Much of the rest of Narnia has met a similar fate.  In the intervening 1,300 years, humans have taken over Narnia and have pretty much ruined everything.  Most of the nonhumans have been wiped out.  Those that remain fear for their lives.  Some of the animals have even forgotten how to talk.  The children find that they have to fight for Narnia once again.

It’s a fairly complex plot.  When they rescue a dwarf, he explains to the siblings what has happened since the first movie and leads in to the rest of the movie.  Once again, the four siblings are fighting for Narnia, but they have another human on their side and the help of a lot more animals and mythical creatures.

Some of the movie won’t make sense if you haven’t seen the first movie, The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  You’ll be able to follow most of it, but you may not understand some of the references and history behind some of the comments.  If you haven’t seen either yet, I’d recommend watching them in order of release.

The movies are based on a series of books.  Not having read them, I’m not sure how closely this movie follows the source material.  From what I understand, C. S. Lewis put Christian themes into the movies among others.  (Lucy has a strong belief that the lion, Aslan, will return despite not having evidence on her side.)

Overall, the movie was entertaining.  There were a few battle scenes, which shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’ve seen the first movie.  (For those that have seen the first movie, I don’t think that much of what I’ve said or what you’d see should be a surprise.)  I could deal with the religious aspects since they weren’t really overbearing.

The third movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, has already been released with the rest of the books set for future dates.  I’d be interested in seeing The Voyage of the Dawn Treader if I can get it on DVD. 


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