Monday, May 26, 2008

Prince Caspian Review

Lisa and I took in "Prince Caspian" last night with some of our kids (as in married kids). I have to confess that I have never read beyond "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" (TLWW)in the Narnia series so that affects my movie experience. I'd imagine that most people go to a movie version of a book to see how it compares to the written text. I didn't have that comparison to make like my three fellow movie goers did so factor that in my comments. You should also know that I'm not big on fantasy or science fiction, so that also affects my perspective.

I thought this movie was much more interesting than the first movie. The first movie seemed too fairy talish for it was for small children. This movie had more depth.

Before you go, I'd defininely read TLWW (or see the movie) just to be up to speed with the movie's background. They don't do anything to help the uninitiated understand Aslan, Narnia, etc.

I was surprised at how little Aslan was in the movie. He doesn't show up until the last twenty minutes or so. The movie is primarily a variety of medieval battle scenes ala Braveheart but without the blood and dismemberment. It's almost comical to see people dying all over the field but every sword is spotlessly clean and shiny. I guess that's required to get a PG rating.

The spiritual analogy doesn't come into play much until the very end when Aslan shows up (although there is some mild reference to faith as Lucy sees Aslan while others doubt and appear to be willing to operate on their own power rather than wait for Aslan. Plus there is a general sense of the Narnians having given up on Aslan because they hadn't heard from him for so long). When Aslan arrives the message is one of salvation for believers and wrath for those who war against God's people. Plus there is a confusing offer of mercy in the closing moments.

The acting was better than TLWW. More believable. Maybe it helped the main characters to have two more years of experience under their belt. The special effects (talking animals, battle scenes, etc.) were also believable and not cheesy.

Would I recommend it? If you read the book I'm sure you'll want to see it. As is often the case, the movie wasn't as good as the book (according to Lisa). It put almost all of the emphasis on battle while in the book the emphasis was on finding Prince Caspian and the relational interplay. If you didn't read the book I'd only go if you have friends or family members who want you along! It's just too one dimensional. And if you don't want your kids to see lots and lots of people killed (albeit bloodlessly) then it's not a good pick either.

So, it's a ** movie for me out of ****. I hope this helps you decide!