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The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

A new age has begun

Directed by:

Andrew Adamson

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 144 minutes

US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: PG

Country: United States

Fans of the book may be disappointed by this sequel to “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” but movie-goers will be pleasantly surprised, shocked even. The second film (based upon the fourth book published) takes the Pevensie kids back to Narnia when Prince Caspian blows his magic horn and little Lucy hears it. But things aren’t like they remembered when they had last left. Now Narnia is ruled by an evil king and Prince Caspian is in hiding. The world is dark and unforgiving, not full of life and wonder. Even the trees are basically dead because they can’t talk and interact as they did before.

The kids have changed, both as characters and actors. Peter, having grown to adulthood in Narnia during their last visit is getting in trouble in the real world because he is angry for being treated like a child. All four of the children are much more present in the film and believable. Lucy maintains her innocence and it is refreshing amidst the dark mayhem. Ben Barnes, who plays Prince Caspian, is a welcome addition. His charm and varied emotional levels bring a new dimension to the character and help propel the story further. Those who have read the book will notice that the filmmakers took the liberty of adding in a few epic battle sequences, namely the castle raid scene. While disliked the departure from the book’s outline these scenes take the film to another level and raise the bar making it much more than a simple children’s story of magical places. There is much more at stake and it draws in an older audience without resorting to excessive gore and sexuality.

What stands out most in this film, especially in comparison to the first is the cinematography. It is absolutely stunning. At times you feel like you’re lost in a dream and riding this fascinating wave of color and tone so engrossing it almost becomes tangible. Bravo to the director of photography and art department, the imagery is a work of art in its own right and ranks right up there with fantasy titan The Lord of the Rings. Overall, a great sequel that was smart in its approach and succeed well as a stand alone film.

It's Got: Amazing cinematography and special effects.

It Needs: More screen time for Aslan the lion.

Alternatives:

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Summary

A mature sequel that lives up to the first film and grows with its audience even though it doesn’t remain completely true to the book.

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