• FILM

  • SEARCH FOR

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Directed by Andrew Adamson. Starring Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Ben Barnes, Peter Dinklage, Warwick Davis. (2008, PG, 144 min.)

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., May 23, 2008

When we last left the Pevensie siblings – Peter (Moseley), Susan (Popplewell), Edmund (Keynes), and wee Lucy (Henley) – they'd seen their staid, Blitz-era British lives turned into a literal fairy tale via lion, witch, and a wardrobe that would give Doctor Who's TARDIS a run for its money. That was three years ago for us, but only one year for the Pevensies, who returned to the UK to find that, sadly, although they were able to triumph over evil in Narnia, the Luftwaffe remains impervious to leonine strategies. And as for the residents of that world beyond the wardrobe, a whopping 1,300 years have passed, scant few of them pleasant. This second in the Narnia films opens with screams, accompanied by royal treachery, attempted murder, and the flight of Prince Caspian (Barnes) from his castle keep to the forest beyond. There he meets the dwarf Trumpkin (the always memorable Dinklage) and various of C.S. Lewis' anthropomorphized fauna, the rag-tag remnants of the Narnians who, in the millennia between Wardrobe and Prince, were ethnically – or maybe specieally? – cleansed, with the survivors driven into hiding by the human Telmarines. A blast from Caspian's magic horn, however, literally sucks the Pevensies back into Narnia. In one of the film's few moments of levity, their explosive summoning, in the London Underground, no less, comes seconds after Peter whines about his reduced mythological status in the real world. Uniting with the nascent Narnian insurgency – shades of Pan's Labyrinth's political backdrop – the Pevensies initiate a battle to return the world, or at least Narnia, to its rightful masters. This is a far darker film than its lead-footed if well-intentioned predecessor, rife with battles, death, and bloodshed, all shot through an oppressively miasmatic haze. Aslan (again voiced by Liam Neeson) appears only briefly, although Lewis' Christian motifs and metaphors are writ large enough for a blind layman to see. Aside from the scene-stealing, Eddie Izzard-voiced mouse Reepicheep, there's precious little whimsy on display, and, indeed, all the characters from the first film – excepting the Pevensie lot – are long gone dead. Adamson's pulled a more morally nuanced rabbit (or badger, actually) out of his directorial hat this time out, and the result is a far more engrossing film than its predecessor.

READ MORE
More Andrew Adamson Films
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away
In this 3-D spectacle, the wan drama takes a back seat to the Cirque's acrobatics.

Kimberley Jones, Dec. 28, 2012

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Fusillade No. 1 in Disney's presumed seven-film adaptation of C.S. Lewis' beloved children's tales is marred by dodgy CGI work and windy pacing.

Marc Savlov, Dec. 9, 2005

More by Marc Savlov
Richard Linklater: dream is destiny
Doc on local filmmaker is a thoughtful portrait

Aug. 26, 2016

Phantom Boy
Hand-drawn animation is the hallmark of this animated French film

July 29, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Andrew Adamson, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Ben Barnes, Peter Dinklage, Warwick Davis

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
This content has not been formatted for this window size.
Please increase the size of your browser window, or revisit this page on a mobile device.
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)