The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is a fantasy epic adventure, co-written and also directed by Andrew Adamson. Prince Caspian is the second film in The Chronicles of Narnia franchise. This is the sequel, following directly after the events of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005). This is based on the book called Prince Caspian (1951), the second published book in C. S. Lewis’s high fantasy Narnia series.
When the film original Narnia film released back in 2005, everyone expected to be the new Harry Potter and yet; the series took an absolute nose-dive in quality going forward. Prince Caspian was the start of a promising series’ demise.
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The Movie Review
1300 years after the Pevensie siblings had left their mark on Narnia, changing its history forever; a young Telmarine prince named Caspian is now being chased after by his evil uncle and aunt who wish to take over his throne. He manages to escape their ploy to assassinate him right there on the spot, and runs into two dwarves and a talking badger inside of a forest.
The soldiers eventually catch up to them, and Caspian blows on a horn given to him by his mentor before running from his home. Not knowing what this horn does, Caspian summons the Pevensies back into Narnia. Now, together with the help of the Pevensie siblings, Caspian must reclaim his kingdom of Telmarine and take the usurper uncle and aunt out of power.
The acting doesn’t feel great here, though it could be forgiven since most of the cast is a bunch of child actors and this film is primarily made for enjoyment purposes not critically analyzed. Though I still can’t help but cringe every time I see Lucy’s straight-faced reaction to some high importance moments in the story. It just kills the immersion even more.
The direction here is not that great, the film constantly switches between pacing and it doesn’t do it in a good way. There is almost always a bit too much or too little going on on the screen. The plot is too slow at times which makes the whole film feel like a lazy endeavor.
However, at times it is too fast and misses a chunk of key character development that would have been CRUCIAL for the progress of not just the characters, but the world and the story itself. Narnia is a world with a HUGE amount of lore attached to it, so when pacing issues such as this bring the quality down it’s a bit annoying.
Right off the bat, Prince Caspian doesn’t feel half as beautiful as the previous Narnia film despite the technological advancements in CGI and even in the budget. The problem with the film doesn’t lie in its use of CGI though, because the CGI is significantly better.
The film just looks less artistically inspired, however that also might be due to Prince Caspian just being a much less thought-through book when compared to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. The colors feel much off, and they don’t feel as vibrant or even as thematically gothic as they do in the prequel. The CGI on the other hand is absolutely stunning, for 2008’s standards it is by far one of the most visually impressive looking films.
The action feels great as well, the set pieces aren’t as well thought out as they were in the original film. The first film’s final war sequence still showcases itself as one of the greatest battles in high fantasy history, where Aslan’s true prowess is shown as a king and a warrior Lion. However, despite not having any of those; Prince Caspian’s action remains really fun to watch!
The Bottom Line
Overall, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian manages to be a flawed but fun family-friendly film. If you look at it from a filmmaking perspective; there is no doubt that this movie will disappoint you. However, if you’re looking for something where you can just shut your brain off, enjoy a horde of CGI battles and fun orchestral music blaring through the screen. Prince Caspian definitely will be of your interest.