Perhaps because it has a summer release instead of coming out in the winter or maybe because there's no "Lazy Sunday" video on "Saturday Night Live" encouraging us to pick up some cupcakes on the way to the movies to see them but there's something missing in the second installment of "the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian".
It's not that's its all that bad, in fact it's been long enough since the Lord of the Rings trilogy passed through the theaters, that watching the numerous scenes of armor clad warriors and mystical beasts duking it out in a massive scale war on the silver screen seems less weatherworn than before. But the sense of wonder and magic that filled the first Narnia movie, "the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" has been replaced in "Prince Caspian" with a sense of been there, done that.
In the story, a year has passed for the four children from war torn London, since they returned to their regular lives from Narnia. The family is soon whisked back to the magical realm, but in Narnia, over thirteen hundred years have passed and only ruins and legends remain of the kids visit from before. The kids eventually overcome their disorientation and get down to the business at hand, helping save Narnia once again.
This time, Narnia isn't threatened by the evil White Witch but by the humans who of course have driven all of the magical beasts into hiding. The core conflict revolves around a predictable power struggle between an evil uncle and the young Prince Caspian. At stake, the extermination of all of the magical creatures of Narnia.
The kids enlist the aid of the creatures of the forest, and work with Prince Caspian to try and turn the tides. As despicable as the evil uncle tries to be, he never quite becomes the caliber of villain you want in this film. Fortunately, this is offset by Tilda Swinton's un-credited cameo when she appears in a brief scene where the misguided Caspian is tempted to unleash the evil Ice Queen from her frozen prison to try and save the day.
In predictable Narnia story fashion, we know the kids and magical kingdom won't have too worry too much as they literally have 'god' on their side and when the young Lucy finally reaches him we know the lion Aslan voiced by Liam Neeson and the army of computer effects animators will save the day. Other bright spots in "Prince Caspian" include Eddie Izzard who does well providing some life and forced comic relief as the voice of the swashbuckling Reepicheep, an animated mouse who swishes a rapier like a Muskateer, which I guess makes him a Mouseketeer without the clubhouse.
Wondering if Disney will continue to fund the Narnia movies through the five remaining books in the series, for Movie Magazine, this is Purple.
© 2008 - Purple - Air Date: 5/21/08
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
USA - 2008