THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN
Much anticipation has been made in the follow-up to Disney's immensely successful movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. After the first of the Narnia movies grossed well over $700 million worldwide, a sequel was inevitable, even besides the fact it was the start of a seven story series.
With the success of the first movie,
Prince Caspian has big shoes to fill (Initial reports today, Caspian opening weekend gross of $56.6M). Andrew Adamson again directs this chapter of the Narnia series and the story picks up a year after the Pevensie children have left Narnia and find themselves called back to help Caspian reclaim the thrown, only 1300 years have passed in Narnia time.
This movie, having already developed most of the main characters in the previous film, lends itself to more action and adventure sequences. While there are more moments like this, the film as a whole seems to lack a sense of direction and pace. Like a bumpy roller coaster, the film quickly moves from exhilarating to slow plot driving sequences. While this is like any other film, Caspian tends to lose its focus and the low points drag on far longer than necessary. Transitional scenes that bring the audience between these high and low points are also missing.
While the story drags at points, overall, the film is enjoyable. The makeup and set design are just as amazing as in the first film.
Karl Walter Lindenlaub deserves a spot of recognition for his beautiful cinematography, particularly the numerous scenes filmed at night. As any photographer/ cinematographer will tell you, capturing action moments and scenes at night is hard enough, yet Lindenlaub adds a sense of beauty to the film. Prince Caspian also has some beautiful sweeping shots of Narnia's landscape that add wonderfully to the aesthetic appeal of the film.
The acting has improved for the most part, especially that of the Pevensie children, and the CG characters are just as enjoyable this time around. Children will especially like this film, less frightening than the first, and with more kid friendly characters (Reepicheep), assuming they can sit through the 2 hr 20min running time.
Despite it's minor pacing flaws, Caspian comes through as a whole to succeed. As the next chapter of the series already heads into pre-production, audiences can look forward to five more films to delight them for years to come.