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Andrew Adamson's 2008 fantasy film and the first sequel in the Narnia film series.

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The Boy Who Would Be King

  • May 16, 2008
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Rating:
+4
It's rare for a sequel to outshine the original. "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" is more focused, more exciting, more interesting, and much more entertaining than 2005's "Narnia" film, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." The main characters are less aimless and enigmatic. The story is far more engaging. Everything in general is smoother and more developed, which is wonderful for anyone in need of a good fantasy story. It shouldn't matter if you've never read any of C.S. Lewis' original books, because in all honesty, it makes absolutely no difference--one should judge this film on its own terms and not make pointless comparisons to the source material. The important thing is that it's a good movie, plain and simple. On the whole, it very nearly gave me everything the first film did not.

"Prince Caspian" begins in the world of Narnia when Prunaprismia (Alicia Borrachero)--queen of the Telmarines--gives birth to a son. This is good news indeed for her husband, Miraz (Sergio Castellitto), because he finally has a male heir to take the place of his nephew, Prince Caspian X (Ben Barnes), who he plans to murder. Caspian's teacher, Dr. Cornelius (Vincent Grass), has known of Miraz's dastardly plan all along, so he helps Caspian escape into the woods; there, the young Prince is attacked and taken captive by a pair of dwarves, but not before blowing a white horn shaped like a lion's head.

This brings the story into 1950s England, where we're reintroduced to the Pevensie siblings: Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and Lucy (Georgie Henley). After breaking up a fight between Peter and a group of schoolboys, the four siblings are magically transported from a subway station back to Narnia. They quickly realize that things are not as they were when they left: ruins of once great structures are scattered all throughout; the trees no longer dance; the great lion Aslan is nowhere to be found, and neither are the other magical creatures. They then save a bitter dwarf named Trumpkin (Peter Dinklage), after which they learn the truth: while the siblings have aged only one year since leaving, Narnia has aged hundreds of years. 1300 years, to be precise. It isn't long before they meet Prince Caspian, who comes to and realizes his destiny is restore peace between the Narnians and the Telmarines.

Obviously, this has turned his world upside down. Narnia began for him as nothing more than a fairy tale; until recently, he never believed that magical creatures even existed. When he realizes that such creatures do exist, he learns that his people conquered Narnia hundreds of years ago, leading to centuries of hostility and mistrust. Since Caspian was the one that called back the Pevensies with the horn, the few remaining creatures decide to form a truce with him and work towards peace. But this can only be done with the help of the four siblings, who after 1300 years remain the rightful kings and queens of Narnia. They join with Caspian knowing that difficult times lie ahead, especially since Aslan is still missing. When a raid on Miraz's castle goes horribly wrong, tensions grow between Peter and Caspian. Both selfishly try to prove themselves when they're supposed to be allies. Peter, for one, is brave and good-hearted, but he's also impulsive, believing he never needs help because he's always in control of the situation.

On the same token, Caspian lets his hatred for Miraz overshadow his main mission, which is to help the Pevensies fight; it reaches a point when he's tempted by a dwarf named Nikabrik (Warwick Davis) to resurrect the White Witch (Tilda Swinton), whose soul is trapped in an icy netherworld. The only one who seems to have a handle on the situation is Lucy, who always hoped she would someday return to Narnia, unlike Susan, who has just begun to get used to England. Lucy clings to the hope that Aslan is somehow guiding them all towards something, even when no one else believes that she's seen him. All this eventually leads to a battle near the end of the film, one that's interwoven with a climactic swordfight between Peter and Miraz. The final part of the sequence features a creature made entirely of water, a creature so impressive I was disappointed with the filmmakers for giving it such little screen time.

Most of the film shows the same level of creativity, with talking badgers and centaurs and marching armies of trees included at one point or another to enhance the experience for the audience. Talking creatures have often been a lot of fun in fantasy stories, especially since they usually add a little comedy relief. The funniest character in "Prince Caspian" is a talking mouse named Reepicheep (voiced by Eddie Izzard), who, despite his size, is actually quite skilled with a sword, even if it's no bigger than a pencil--"Yes, I'm a mouse," he says just before slitting the throat of a castle guard. Even if that one moment was more disturbing than it was funny, I still feel that, overall, "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" is a wonderful fantasy adventure. I finally felt the magical spark that eluded me in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," an ambitious and well-intentioned film with an unfocused, underdeveloped story. I can't say how well made future "Narnia" films will be, but there's reason to hope for the best if they follow the same trend as "Prince Caspian."

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More The Chronicles of Narnia: Prin... reviews
review by . March 16, 2011
I realize that Prince Caspian isn't quite as well-made as the first one. However, I think this one is the better film and I only allotted the extra 10% to the first film because I liked Tilda Swinton as the White Witch. Some may disagree with me, but I think this was the better film because it was much more entertaining, the characters face real problems and the film is not so full of biblical connotations. However, the symbolism is still somewhat there in this film and I think that is a good …
review by . January 31, 2010
FAR better then the first film
I still remember all the hype surrounding the first Chronicles of Narnia films, The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Widescreen Edition), and for all that hype, for all that attention it received (due mainly to the success of
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
not my favorite of the chronicles of narnia series, but it was still good
review by . June 10, 2009
The Narnians and the Pevensies
"You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve," said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content."    –Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, by C.S. Lewis   In Disney's first sequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, director Andrew Adamson decided to make a darker, more adult film than the original entry film into the Narnia …
review by . December 27, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
If you liked The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I think you'll love The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Technically, as a piece of cinematography, the latter stands as a marked improvement over Andrew Adamson's first Narnia film. Better acting, better special effects, even better soundtrack. The plot also has more twists and turns, from the raid on the castle to the internecine fighting among the Telmarines.    The Pevensie kids feel more comfortable …
review by . May 31, 2009
Prince Caspian Poster
So far, The Chronicles of Narnia films have kind of been like a hidden gem in a recent line of epic films.  Though The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and its sequel film, Prince Caspian don't match up to such films as the The Lord of the Rings Trilogy or the Harry Potter films.  However, these first two films have brought some fun entertainment and great stories that I loved growing up as a kid.    One year has passed since the four Pevensie children have left the …
review by . January 18, 2009
This 2nd installment in the Narnia movie franchise picks up one year after the end of the first movie; in England time. When our four heroes return to Narnia, it is actually a millenium later. But the ensuing movie is just as exciting as the first one, with even some romance thrown in at the end. Like any good fantasy movies, Prince Caspian has several grand battle scenes, creatures of various species interacting with each other in English, great swordfighting, and some double-crossing, both by …
review by . December 06, 2008
Prince Caspian is the follow-up to the the very popular Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe of the Chronicles of Narnia book series.    Full of battle scenes, some pretty spectacular. Small children may struggle with fearful images. One scene was particularly sad involved several Narnians caught behind enemy lines awaiting death.    As in the first movie loads of creatures make up Narnia's population. All had been living underground since shortly after the kings …
review by . September 08, 2008
I already expected this to be an exciting movie, but I have to tell you that the excitement got so much higher as I watched this movie with my kids. I couldn't believe just how well this movie was, I mean the first Chronicles is a fantastic movie, but this movie takes a few steps ahead. It's definitely more mature, it takes on a lot of battle scenes, like a Lord of the Rings type of battle with a ton of creatures who are fighting for their land back. We have amazing effects, with taking badgers, …
review by . June 05, 2008
"The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" is the sort of movie that has one group of people it caters to and one it does not. The group the movie does not cater to is the book lovers. These people are the sort of people who read books and complain about the movies for insignificant changes. These are the sort of people who say they would have no problem with the movie if it was under a different title, a logic I've never completely understood, seeing as how book huggers still complain about "The …
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #5
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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About this movie

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Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is a story of the Pevensie siblings who are determined toward off an evil king and restore the crown to Prince Caspian.  Directed by Andrew Adamson, this movie was released on May 16, 2008, and was nominated for a MTV Movie Award for the Best Summer Movie So Far and A Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Breakout Movie and Choice Movie: Action Adventure.  The film starred Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Sergio Castellitto, and Peter Dinklage.

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Details

Director: Andrew Adamson
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Release Date: May 16, 2008
Screen Writer: Andrew Adamson
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008
Runtime: 144 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Studios, Walden Media, Walt Disney Pictures
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