the long awaited night: Friday, May 16, 2008, at seven o’clock. We sat in the theatre, chewing our nails. Previews for City of Ember (looks dumb), Kung Fu Panda (looks O.K.), Journey to the Centre of the Earth (looks goofy), Beverly Hills Chihuahua (looks really, really dumb), and of course, WALL E (looks good). Then, the feature presentation. You guessed it. Prince Caspian. A pretty good movie. I will now do a sort-of review on it, doing my best not to give it away.
I went in expecting a pretty good action movie and a somewhat lousy adaptation of the book. And that is close to what I got. Over all, though, I would have to say that the movie left me pleasantly surprised. It had good action, some good themes (book and non), and good production quality. The story suffered some. Let’s start with that.
the story: the movie began with Caspian fleeing his uncle Miraz’s castle [intimidating buzzer]. I know, that’s not where it began in the book. This was really a minor change, though, and they did a fairly good job on filling you in on Caspian’s life up to that point throughout the film. The rest of the film is complete war. The story had to move to make room for the action. And to tell you the truth, if the general story had followed the book more, I would have preferred that they squeeze in as much action as they did. Like all the critics said, this movie was more action based, as opposed to the first film which was very character based. The story had lots of major changes. but they managed to put at lot of the book in too. I’d say that the stories changes would all be fairly okay, if it weren’t for the fact that is was not just the story that was messed up, but it was the characters too. Peter and Susan both were ripped apart, with Caspian, Trumpkin, and Aslan taking some hits. Lucy and Edmund were both fairly good, and Reepicheep was awesome. But you can see that for yourself. There is an interesting subplot added about how Miraz manipulates the situation with Caspian joining the Narnians and all that into a way to seize power for Over all I would probably rate the adaptation 5\10, as compared to the first one, which would be at least a 6.5\10.
the production quality: the LWW had that kind of cinematography which kind of gives the audience a sort of thrill. The lighting, the shots, all that was really good. I think Prince Caspian followed that tradition. As far as computer graphics go, I would say that they were average. So many movies these days are so super computerized that it is hard to say whether this is better than the usual or not. They were better on this than on the first film, though. The acting was fine. Well, I guess there were no bad actors on this film. They were all at least average, which I guess is good. But there was a shortage of excellent actors. Probably the only real toppers were Eddie Izzard, playing Reepicheep, and of course, William Moseley, Skandar Keynes, and Georgie Henley. I would rate the PQ at about 9\10
the action: of this, we had a huge sampling. It has been said by several critics that that the body count in Prince Caspian makes it a kind of 300 for kids. Dripping with action. I always the think that filmmakers must have a hard time balancing action and story. The Lion did a good job of this. Prince Caspian is heavily weighing on the action side. From the beginning to the end, there is fighting going on. In the first scene, the Telmarines shoot up Caspian’s bed and chase him through the woods. From then on it is thick with attacks from Telmarines in the woods, night raids, and climactic battle scenes were lots of good guys and bad guys are canon fotter. All in all, the action I would rate about 8\10.
themes: now comes the hard part. All the themes in the movie were really kind of fuzzy. I think believing in yourself was certainly a big one in this; as it is in all movies. All throughout the film there are things like this come up. But then, this is completely contradicted by the movies portrayal of Peter. Even though his character was torn apart, they way he acted throughout the film sort of showing that he needed to learn to depend on Aslan, instead of on his own strength. I don’t know if the makers intended it that way (I am sure Andrew Adamson didn’t), but that’s how it came across to me. But then, another theme that Peter had to sacrifice his character for was letting go, and sacrificing yourself for others. But in the book, Peter had predetermined to make that sacrifice. He didn’t have to learn. They should have that way, even though today’s morally bankrupt audience wouldn’t comprehend such a thing. There was another thing I wanted to get to, but I think it might spoil more of the movie than I already have. I had better quit.
All in all, Prince Caspian is an entertaining, action packed film that just happens to try and hollywoodize C.S. Lewis.