The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Rating – ***

caspian

Frustratingly inconsistent. The second chapter in the Narnia chronicles is frequently dull and ordinary, yet occasionally stunning. So in many ways it is similar to The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. This being my first credited feature film (I worked on the visual effects) along with the brilliant experience of the red carpet premiere, I’m ignoring all that, so it wont influence my review. The fact is that the first hour lacks any narrative drive. It’s just endless exposition and character introductions. However, Ben Barnes who plays Caspian delivers a decent enough performance. As soon as he is united with the Pevensie children, things start to pick up. The brutal fight between Peter and Miraz is pretty gripping. There are moments in the climactic battle which rival (and possibly surpass?) the very best in The Lord of the Rings! Yet ultimately this is business as usual. Adamson simply isn’t a great director when it comes to drama. Once he gets to the action and visual effects his work is excellent. Even the cinematography follows this shift in quality. Despite the undeniable charm of the basic story, it is only a minor variation of the first. Still, the problem with the Narnia films so far isn’t that they are bad. They just can’t sustain greatness for the whole running time. However, a change in director and an intriguing premise means I’m still kinda looking forward to the third film Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

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~ by thewholebuffalo on July 18, 2009.

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