The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (9/10)
by Tony Medley
Fantasy, animals who speak,
mystical lands; these are not the stuff of which my movie dreams are
made. How surprised was I, then, to sit through 135 minutes of this
thoroughly transported to the magic land of Narnia.
Director Andrew Adamson
(who also has a co-producer credit and a co-writer, with Christopher
Markus and Stephen McFeely) credit), whose first take at the C.S. Lewis
trilogy, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the
Wardrobe” took in a mind-boggling $745 million, is back and what he
produces is scintillating.
Two brothers and two
sisters, the Pevensie children, Lucy (12-year-old Georgie Henley),
Edmund (16-year-old Skandar Keynes), Susan (19-year-old Anna Popplewell),
and Peter (21-year-old William Moseley), are whisked off an WWII tube
station back to Narnia, where they encounter Prince Caspian (26-year-old
Ben Barnes), whose uncle, King Miraz (Sergio Castellitto, in a smashing
performance) is out to kill him to take the throne for himself.
Ben gets away from the
castle by the skin of his teeth and finds himself in the forest, wherein
dwell the Narnians, led by Trumpkin the Red Dwarf (Peter Dinklage) and
Nikabrik the Black Dwarf (3’6” Warwick Davis’). Everybody thought the
Narnians were extinct. Wrong. Thus starts an action-packed, fun-filled
adventure with the Pevensies, Caspian, the Narnians and all their
compatriots from the animal kingdom, including Asian the Lion (voiced by
Liam Neeson), some centaurs, Trufflehunter (voiced by Ken Stott), a
badger, and Reepicheep (voiced by Eddie Izzard), a 22-inch high mouse
who looks and acts like D’Artagnon, all trying to defeat King Miraz, and
he them. This film introduces Reepicheep. The next one, “The Voyage of
the Dawn Treader” will be his story, according to Adamson.
Adamson has done such a
brilliant job of pacing that there is no point in the movie where you
can leave for any reason whatever. If you do leave, you will undoubtedly
The cinematography (Karl
Walter Lindenlaub) and production design (Roger Ford) and beautiful. The
visual effects (The Moving Picture Company and Framestore-CFC, Dean
Wright and Wendy Rogers, Supervisors) are out of this world. Maybe the
real star of the movie is the KNB EFX Group for the special
makeup/creature/character prosthetics. I generally don’t like all this
fantasy stuff, but what they created actually had me buying the whole
The acting is first rate,
but the person who captivated me was Georgie Henley, who seems to me to
be a budding star.
I suppose there is someone
out there who might not like this, but I’m not one of them and I’m a
very hard sell. This is 135 minutes that goes by in a trice.
May 13, 2008