Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

I confess I never read a single one of C. S. Lewis' books. I just never felt curious enough, despite them being fantasy classics, and after flipping through the first one I found it, on a glance, too infantile for my taste. I'm probably already over the target-age for them, but anyway.

I saw the first Narnia movie not knowing very well what to expect, since I was largely ignorant of the story, I only knew that it was about some kids that went to a magical world through a closet. Silly, right? Could have been. But I actually enjoyed the movie, I thought the characters were endearing, the story was interesting enough, and the fantastic element was always very present and well-balanced. The action sequences weren't that brilliant, but in the end the movie worked well and was, if nothing else, a nice movie-going experience.
I think almost the exact same thing about the sequel.

"Prince Caspian" finds the Pevensie siblings traveling to Narnia again, where they find out a cruel ruler, Lord Miraz, wants to usurp the throne and drive all Narnians - the magical creatures - to extinction. Prince Caspian, the legitimate heir to the throne, is the one that sumons the Pevensie kids, the Kings and Queens of old, to Narnia, so they can help him take the throne that is rightfully his.
As far as character development goes, only the kids and Aslan reprise their roles, so we're familiar with them. Well, sort of. Peter Pevensie was the most changed character, he actually came off as a bit of a cocky bastard, and not in a cool way. I know he was meant to be like that in the movie, as it actually serves as a starting point to some jokes and puns, but I didn't really like it.
Prince Caspian was a little bit of a wuss. I know he's supposed to be kind, and noble, and all, but I'd like to have seen him be a little braver. It's not like he didn't do anything, but he just came off too delicate and almost "lady-in-distress" like. The character might actually be like that in the book, as far as I know, but I wanted to see him kick a little ass. I wanted him to impress me and make me respect his character, but that didn't happen. Oh well.
Lord Miraz is just your token evil guy. He has a pointy beard and a cool war helmet, but not much more. The other characters are also kind of forgettable, which is a shame, because in the first movie, Mr. Tumnus, one of the supporting characters, was pretty endearing and ended up captivating the viewer. They also tried to hammer-in a romance subplot that was wholy unnecessary, in my opinion.

You can see they tried to focus more on the action in this sequel. That is all well and good, but one can't avoid compare them to the action in Lord of the Rings, which is far superior, and the comparison leaves kind of a sour taste. The action falls short of being enticing or awe-inducing, but it's pretty enough and entertaining.
Last complain I have is that the movie is a bit too long. But that's a minor issue.
All in all, it was an okay movie. It was good watching a fantasy flick, it's not the most common movie genre ever. I know I shouldn't compare it to LOTR, because both the movies and the source material were meant for kids, while LOTR was meant to a more mature audience. I think that as far as kids fantasy goes, this movie was pretty well accomplished, and I'm sure I'd enjoy it tons more if I was younger - especially because the stars are KIDS in the movies, and I'd be able to sit in wonder and wish I was them, running with the Centaurs in Narnia.
I'm giving Prince Caspian 3 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to check out the "Narnia Rap" too, if you've been living under a rock for the last 3 years and haven't seen it. :P

Colocado por Gennita

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sob on a corner over Christian Bale's arrest.


travis said...

I just stumbled across this randomly, and saw that you liked the Narnia movies but haven't read the books. I strongly encourage you to read them! Yes, they are aimed at younger people, but that just makes them faster to read (I do read fast, but I recently reread the entire set in a day), and the books are at least as enjoyable as the movies!

Also, if you're going to read them, try to find a set that is the published order, not the chronological order. They seem to grab attention better in the published order (and you'll start with something familiar)

nakamura_michiyo said...

Thanks for the tips, Travis! I feel a little guilty for never having given the books a chance. I should know from experience that first impressions are not always right, there were a few books that I passed at first, but then I read and fell in love with.
I'm actually in need of new reading material for the summer, so I might just follow your advice and find a set that has the published order :) thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment!

ForgetfulRainn said...

Good review! I never saw the first, nor read the book, though I adore C.S. Lewis. When the first movie came out, I knew nothing of Narnia or Lewis, and the movie struck me as "Harry Potter Meets the Lord of the Rings", so I entirely dismissed it.

I must live on Mars because I had never seen the Narnia rap! But I recognise these guys, they were the ones in that Natalie Portman video. They got a crazy good flow!

João Mealha said...

No Narnia for me tnks.

By the way, why isnt James McAvoy in this one?Is it because it would not make sense story wise or is it because he's a big star now?He was like the little girl's best friend in the first one.

nakamura_michiyo said...

smackopoo: I guess it didn't make sense to have him there, because 1300 year have passed since the last time the kids were in Narnia. It's safe to assume good ol' Mr. Tumnus just kicked the bucket. Then again, I'm not sure what a satyr's lifespan is... maybe the more simple explanation is that James McAvoy is a big star now, yeah, and he's above being shirtless around little girls.