June 8, 2008

Lions, tigers and bears...oh my!

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is considerably darker than the first film adaptation of C. S. Lewis' children's book series. With political intrigue to match Queen Elizabeth I's or King Henry XVIII's courts and epic battle scenes, the screenplay also offers cute talking animals and more humorous dialogue, probably to offset the violence.

High King Peter (William Mosely), Queen Susan (Anna Popplewell), King Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Queen Lucy (Georgie Henley) have been summoned back to Narnia by exiled Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) after a thousand years. They set out to overthrow the Telmarines and Caspian's evil uncle Miraz (Sergio Castellitto) with the help of Narnia's inhabitants (centaurs, minotaurs, dwarves, and even an Eddie Izzard-voiced rat Reepicheep). Tilda Swinton's White Witch makes a brief appearance in a frightening scene, and Aslan (Liam Neeson) comes back to save the day.

During a Kamikaze attack on the usurper's castle, a Helm's Deep-like battle scene, a gladiator-like fight to the death between two kings, we watch the Pevensies grow up as they strategize battle plans and actually fight. Susan and Caspian look longingly at each other. Lucy never wavers in her faith in Aslan. Edmund redeems himself nicely. Peter does the best he can with the information that he has.

I thought this one exceeded its predecessor. I can't wait for the next adventure in the wondrous land of Narnia.

(photo from Ben Barnes Online)


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