As is often the case with sequels, this one is darker and more conventional. The Pevensie siblings (Henley, Keynes, Moseley, Popplewell) are transported from war-torn 1940s London to war-torn Narnia some 1300 years after they left. They discover that the Telmarines have conquered the original Narnians and their ruthless ruler, King Miraz (Castellitto), has driven the survivors, including his nephew, Prince Caspian (Barnes), the rightful heir, into the woods. Caspian and the sibs rally the denizens, and some big (albeit PG-rated) battles ensue, while lion Aslan (voiced by Neeson) turns up, offering bits of wise counsel. The series' religious allegories have been toned down even farther and the CGI visual effects heightened while events are set up for the next installment.
Review by Brian Tallerico
Following the pattern of The Empire Strikes Back and The Two Towers, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is significantly darker than its predecessor. How dark you may ask? While it never reaches the blackness of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End's pre-title hanging of children, ...Read More
I finally caught "Prince Caspian" the other night. I was surprised at how much fun I had watching it.
- I liked the opening of the film and the progression of the opening titles over scenes of Caspian's escape from the castle.
- I liked the Reepicheep-point-of-view invasion of Miraz' castle.
- I enjoyed the high film-speed effect on some of the battle scenes, and how raw and energetic the combat between Miraz and Peter was.
- I was very surprised by how interesting Miraz was. I loved the scene where he was pressed by Edmund, and by his own council, into one-on-one combat with Peter. I loved that Miraz (most of the time) wasn't overplayed or underplayed - he seemed to have just the right amount of animation to seem corrupt and ambitious without becoming a simple caricature (certain sneering, Lord of the Rings villains come to mind).
The 4 Pevensie children intersect with Caspian much earlier in the film than they do in the book, which brings about some interesting conflicts within characters. There is the romantic attraction btw. Susan and Caspian. And the absence of Aslan has a different effect on the characters as they discuss their choices. There is a pronounced rivalry between Peter and Prince Caspian that, strangely, never seemed to sway the loyalties of the Narnians as I would expect it to. In the book, Lewis does away with any conflict between Peter and Caspian with a single line from Peter: "I haven't come to take your place, you know, but to put you into it." (p.184)