The magic of Narnia returns to the big screen with Prince Caspian. But a lot has changed since the Pevensie kids were last there – Pride and greed are the rulers of Narnia now, and the magic has all but disappeared. Fear not however, as the Pevensie kids are pulled back into the land of Narnia to sort things out.
The trailer for Caspian had me sold – it was going to be a wild ride and was going to put the Wardrobe in its place. This was going to be the kind of movie that people would rave about. A strange thing happened to me however as I reclined in one of the lovely Sylvia Park La Première seats during the opening scenes of Caspian – I was struggling to stay awake. I’d probably put it down to a hard week and the reclined position I was in, but one thing has to be said for Caspian, it was a slow starter.
It built up slowly, almost painstakingly, but it got there in the end. The magic returned and Narnia enveloped me once again in its warm embrace. Andrew Adamson did a marvellous thing, he created huge scenes of battle, with death abounding, but with no blood or sense of gratuitous violence. This, in any other movie would not be a great thing, but one thing dawned on me as a watched the end of Caspian; I had such high hopes for this movie, especially after the highs of Iron Man and Hulk that I had forgotten that this was supposed to be a children’s story. Sure, it was blockbuster in its production costs, it was filled with sweeping action, epic battles and a cast of thousands, but in reality it was a children’s movie.
And I think that’s what most critics have overlooked, and as such missed out on the magic that was waiting to be discovered.
Embrace Caspian with the innocence and wonder of a child and you’ll love it. Walk into it expecting the next big blockbuster action spectacular and you’ll probably be disappointed.
Food for thought (spoiler):
Aslan never left Narnia, it’s just that everyone had stopped looking for him.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: M – Contains violence.
Duration: 145 mins.
Genre: Adaptation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy.
Director: Andrew Adamson.
Actors: Ben Barnes, Liam Neeson, Warwick Davis, Peter Dinklage, William Moseley, Sergio Castellitto.
Release Date: Out now.
Also reviewed by: Jon E Clist.