Saturday, May 17, 2008

Narnia 2 : Prince Caspian

Synopsis: (warning spoilers)

The characters of C.S. Lewis's timeless fantasy come to life once again in this newest installment of the "Chronicles of Narnia" series, in which the Pevensie siblings are magically transported back from England to the world of Narnia, where a thrilling, perilous new adventure and an even greater test of their faith and courage awaits them. One year after the incredible events of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," the Kings and Queens of Narnia find themselves back in that faraway wondrous realm, only to discover that more than 1300 years have passed in Narnian time. During their absence, the Golden Age of Narnia has become extinct, Narnia has been conquered by the Telmarines and is now under the control of the evil King Miraz, who rules the land without mercy. The four children will soon meet an intriguing new character: Narnia's rightful heir to the throne, the young Prince Caspian, who has been forced into hiding as his uncle Miraz plots to kill him in order to place his own newborn son on the throne. With the help of the kindly dwarf, a courageous talking mouse named Reepicheep, a badger named Trufflehunter and a Black Dwarf, Nikabrik, the Narnians, led by the mighty knights Peter and Caspian, embark on a remarkable journey to find Aslan, rescue Narnia from Miraz's tyrannical hold, and restore magic and glory to the land. Directed once again by veteran director Andrew Adamson, screenplay by Andrew Adamson and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely and produced by Mark Johnson, Andrew Adamson and Philip Steuer, the film reunites the original cast and creative team behind the blockbuster first film in the series. --© Walt Disney Pictures/Walden Media

The movie is fast moving and briskly paced that there is hardly time for anyone to catch his or her breath, let alone wonder what is happening. Those who have watched the first movie would have seen some imagery referring to the The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. As a movie, it is entertaining with the special effects (CG) taking all the limelight from the actors who appear wooden and at times seems to be posturing for effects. I tried hard to capture some themes from C. S. Lewis's book on which this movie is based. The two themes that came to me as I read Lewis' book were courage and faith. Unfortunately this did not translate well in the movie.

Instead of courage, High King Peter and Prince Caspian appear as foolhardy adolescents leading their army to slaughter. Lucy may have faith because she saw Aslan while the others did not. Yet without reading the other series in the chronicles, one will be hard pressed to see why Aslan had to appear only when Lucy seeked him out in the woods. The way he destroyed the Telmarines using the river was pathetic. One also wonder where was Aslan all this time when the Telmarines were taking over, and committing genocide of the Narnians.

Needless to say, I was not too impressed by this second offering of the Narnia Chronicles. Especially if I am to use it for teaching my children about faith. Saying Lucy can see Aslan and the others cannot because Lucy is the youngest may be pushing the metaphor of faith of children further than it was meant to be.

It is an enjoyable movie if one watches to see the action. There is a plenty of fighting but strangely no blood or flying body parts (oh, yes, it is a Disney movie). The comic relief comes from the short folks. After watching the marching armies of the orcs in the Lord of the Rings, the stamping of the Telmarine armies seem anticlimax.

It is a good entertainment for a family outing but do not expect too much from it.

two and a half star



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