A Brit Late: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Original release date: 26 June 2008 (UK)
Lateness: 4 months
I had much higher hopes for this movie than I did for the first in the series. This one I knew included large scale battles, and much more “mature” themes thanks to reading the books umpteen times growing up. Then again I knew the film was rated PG, so they wouldn’t be able to do the violence any justice, it would be shot in a way where the impression of violence is given but almost never actually shown.
Since first reading the books I’ve always felt like this entry in the Narnia series was like a poor man’s Lord Of The Rings, not only for the small fact of giant walking trees coming to save the day but also the way in which they were written. I was hoping whoever directed the second movie would recognise this fact and attempt to distance the two series by shooting it in a non-standard way, especially the battle scenes. Turns out director Andrew Adamson thought otherwise, perhaps following the check-list below:
LOTR made loads of money
Shoot Narnia like LOTR
The cinematography is good but just far too similar to LOTR to not be compared, especially during the battle scenes. Really the only saving grace in the entire movie for myself were the puss-in-boots-esque sword wielding mice. The fact that they literally scurry up every enemy and kill them with a calculated slash of the throat is fantastically brutal, even if it is only implied and never shown due to the rating imposed on the film. The inclusion of the White Witch was also a stupid move, I have no idea why she was even present, I assume they just though they needed more recurring characters.
It is not only the changes between the film and the book that have annoyed me, there are also some things in the movie’s literary companion that confound me. The entire thing about Aslan requiring their faith in him before he will appear to them and save the day is a giant pile of horse-shit. It kind of ruins the image of a noble hero that you get from previous encounters and just makes you think he is a giant cunt. I mean, he could have saved hundreds, no thousands of lives had he not decided to fuck off for 1300 years into the forest to pimp about by himself. When he finally does show up he literally obliterates the bad guys in oh I don’t know, five minutes, and is greeted with boundless joy and praise. Seems a little fucked up to me, especially as 90% of movie-goers will not understand the Christian themes behind it.
Unless you have kids that were a fan of the first movie I advise you steer clear of this, I wouldn’t even recommend it as rental. Wait for the third in the series, seems they have come to their senses and got themselves a new director.