The Story: The four Pevensie children, of the first Narnia film, are back to their normal lives in London all the while wishing they were back in the fantasy world. When they are summoned by the dashing Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) they discover Narnia has gone through hundreds of years of war and bloodshed while they’ve been gone. The children are forced to band together, along with their talking woodland friends, to restore Narnia to its former glory and remove the evil King Miraz (Sergio Castellito).
Pros: Prince Caspian definitely builds off the foundation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe so if you enjoyed the first you’ll adore the second. The battle scenes remain epic and the special effects are still breathtaking to watch. The story has also evolved quite a bit, giving Narnia a rich history in the time the Pevensie children have been gone as well as evolving the children. There’s a great subplot about how the children don’t want to grow up that is unique than in past family films. The four children of the original film have all grown up and worked on their acting techniques quite a bit since the first, and some of them have become less grating on the nerves. Fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy should also not find too much to complain about, seeing as how the first was so much like that prior trilogy, but will also find new things to love about this movie.
Cons: If you’re like me and you didn’t enjoy the first Narnia that much, you won’t enjoy Prince Caspian at all. It’s not to say their not bad movies, just long and drawn out, essentially the Lord of the Rings to the younger set. The story is good overall but it takes forever to get from A to B. The movie is two and a half hours and it feels it after awhile. The beginning with the kids is great but once you delve into all the history and the action, which should propel the story quickly, you realize not much has happened in such a long time. The Pevensie children are the main focus but some of the younger children, especially Lucy are dumped in favor of propelling storylines involving a feud between Peter and Prince Caspian as well as a cliché love story between Caspian and Susan. You start to think that maybe there are only two Pevensie children after awhile; they definitely don’t get equal time. Another issue is how bogged down in the teenage drama this movie becomes with the plots mentioned above, something that wasn’t in the first film. While Ben Barnes is cute for young ladies and his short role in Stardust was funny he hasn’t hit leading man status yet. He’s essentially this trilogy’s Orlando Bloom and it shows in his wooden delivery. He also has a really bad tan and terrible Spanish accent that takes at least an hour to get used to. The action scenes, especially the big battle at the end are filmed primarily in the dark, which goes for a few other scenes, and it becomes hard to differentiate people sometimes.
Features: There is a three disc version of this movie but I checked out the single disc which has one basic feature. There is an audio commentary with director Andrew Adamson and the teenage stars of the film. There’s a lot of laughing and good humor between the teens and Adamson gives some standard information on the making-of the film, although a bit dry. I would have enjoyed a making-of feature more or maybe two separate commentaries.
Overall: This is a love or hate type franchise and after the weak response I had to the first and now this I’m thinking I’m not a fan of Narnia. Prince Caspian will definitely entertain Disney fans and fans of the books as well as Lord of the Rings but if you’re not in those categories you might have a hard time. It won’t help fans of the series to check out the single disc DVD because of its lack of features. I give the movie and DVD a 2/5.
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - Single Disc Edition