Disney’s Prince Caspian:
A Royal Treat
Movie-goers will find themselves in a more violent world than they remember in “Narnia,” the enchanted land they visited in “The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe,” the first film in the series based on the C. S. Lewis novels.
Those coming to the second installment of Andrew Adamson’s venture into Lewis, hoping for more of the same, will learn from Aslan, the film’s noble lion: “Things never happen the same way twice.” Some of the film’s most beguiling moments are the tender meetings between the youngest Pevensie child, Lucy and Aslan (voiced by Liam Neesom).
In “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” it is a year later in the Pevensie children’s time; in Narnia centuries have passed. The castle at Cair Paravel is in ruins, trees don’t dance, the bears are mute and old Narnians hide out in the woods, hoping that one day they will recover their land from the evil Telmarines.
When their adventure begins, the kids Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and Lucy (Georgie Henley), who are happy to depart wartime London, find themselves immortalized in Narnia cave art. Soon they realize they have returned just when Narnia needs them.
The kingdom’s new leader should be Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) but his wicked uncle Miraz (Sergio Castellitto) has stolen the crown and started a civil war. With no time to waste, Peter and Caspian marshal their army consisting of centaurs, minotaurs, a cranky dwarf (Pete Dinklage), and a daring mouse (voiced by Eddie Izzard).
Peter and Caspian disagree on how best fight against Miraz’s men, but only Lucy understands they can’t win by force alone. Without faith and the help of Aslan, they will be lost.
C.S. Lewis never made a secret of the religious themes in his novels, and they are in the film if you search for them. But most film-goers won’t. They will enjoy the vividly staged (too vivid for the very young) battle sequences and the charming Pevensie children.
Barnes’ is a bit wooden as the Prince; and Miraz is not as frightening as the “Wardrobe’s” villainous icy White Witch, (Tilda Swinton), here in a cameo.
The shortcomings are few and most people will simply enjoy this film as an adventure spectacle for family viewing.#