The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

When The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe came out two and a half years ago, I thought it was a well executed film, which looked wonderful and had some perfectly cast characters – Tilda Swinton as the White Witch and Georgie Henley as the youngest Pevensie, Lucy. However, it was a bit soft around the edges, and lacked a strong lead in the form of William Moseley, who seemed more than just a bit wooden as the eldest Pevensie, Peter. However despite these flaws, it was still a very enjoyable.

So, it was with a general air of optimism that I sat down to watch the second adaptation in the septology – Prince Caspian. And I am very happy to report that, on the whole, it’s a very pleasing result. The four Pevensies are back, and all of them more comfortable in their roles this time around, joined by Ben Barnes who plays the titular Prince. Georgie Henley remains the most accomplished and capable of the four, and while Moseley and Poppelwell have improved markedly, they still are wooden around the edges, though this is a flaw of the source material too, so I may be being a tad harsh. (However Moseley’s performance in the swordfight sequence is rather impressive.) Barnes is very capable as Caspian, and as his character has a bit more depth than Moseley’s, he can’t help but upstage him in the scenes they share.

I wish I could tell you how Skandar Keynes does as Edmund, but, well, he barely features. It was only when reading IMDB after seeing the film that I realised how absent he is – he has exactly 37 lines of dialogue in a film that runs for 144 minutes. One can only imagine his reaction when he read the script.

Like its predecessor, Prince Caspian looks fantastic. The Telemarine castle is nothing short of breathtaking, and the battle sequence between the armies is superb. Aslan and Reepicheep (voiced by Liam Neeson and Eddie Izzard repectively) look great, while Reepicheep also makes it very clear that Shrek’s Puss-in-Boots he is not – cute perhaps, but a deadly soldier nonetheless.

Overall, Prince Caspian certainly improves on the first outing, and there is a real sense that the entire production has grown up. With Moseley and Poppelwell not due to return, the lead of the series passes to Ben Barnes for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and based on this performance that promises to be quite a show. A-.

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