Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Caspian, See?




Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Author’s note: I’m not feeling up on my writin’ game as much as usual, so this review kinda slurries into stream of consciousness comments after a while. Enjoy nonetheless. Also, I don't feel like italicizing titles. Wanna fight about it?

With the release of 2005’s The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the Chronicles of Narnia put themselves in the right place at the right time to potentially occupy the power vacuum created by the conclusion of Peter Jackson’s brilliant Lord of the Rings trilogy. Based on C.S. Lewis’s beloved saga that no child should go without reading, TCoN are the tales of British schoolchildren circa WWII who find themselves whisked off to a land of talking beasts, noble centaurs, fearsome witches, and the like. Unfortunately for the Hollywood suits, LW&W is by far the most famous book in the series and Prince Caspian, while entirely essential for the saga’s plot momentum, is probably its shortest and shallowest entry. Fortunately, that literary setback has proved to be a cinematic boon, as the new film incarnation is quite nearly a triumph. Sure, it could have used more Aslan, and the vast majority of Susan & Caspian’s (completely non-book) chaste tweener flirting made me taste bile, but Peter Dinklage continues to prove himself the awesomest midget in showbiz as he steals scenes playing Trumpkin and mere words simply cannot convey my love and admiration for Reepicheep, Narnia’s resident talking mouse badass, who comes to life in all his 18 inches tall glory rendered in great CGI and given speech by the talented Eddie Izzard. Also fun: watching the Spaniard-esque Telemarine baddies make intricate power plays for the throne as usurper king Miraz devotes himself to taking out nephew Caspian and his wacky Narnian buddies. Finally, Prince Caspian probably features the most badass fantasy combat that will ever swing a PG rating. Good stuff.

Given TCoN:PC’s relatively disappointing inital box office (truly a shame, because it deserves to be, and I feel will still eventually become) a family fantasy classic, I just hope to god that the powers that be see fit to keep rolling with the Narnia adaptations. Because I’ve had me a taste of Reep and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has gots so much more.

Grade: B+

1 comment:

Emily said...

Although I normally enjoy and agree with your reviews, I can't say I agree with you on this one. I found this one very disappointing. I'm planning on re-reading the book to see whether Lewis' character dialogue was really that horrible, or the storyline that confusing and shallow. I rather doubt it. It smelled too much of Hollywood.

For now, I'm not recommending that my mother take my siblings to see this one in the theatre, as that's a major expense for a big family, and in my opinion this one wasn't worth that much.