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So last night, after a full weekend of whiskey, weddings and women, me and my buddy took a break and went and saw the newest Andrew Adamson film, Prince Caspian.
Here's my take on the movie.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Runtime: 174 minutes
Directed by Andrew Adamson
First, watch the trailer to understand the time reference we are dealing with, then read my quick summary.
The Pevensie children, which we last saw in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, have been back in the real world for a year, when they are whisked away to Narnia. 1,300 years have passed in Narnia since they were kings and queens and the land has been taken over by a group of people called the Telmarines. The talking beasts and all the fantasy characters such as dwarves, minotaurs, centaurs etc. have been driven into the forests and are supposedly extinct. An evil ruler, Miraz, sits on the Telmarine throne. Enter Caspian, the true heir to the throne. He is forced to escape from his uncle, Miraz, when Miraz's wife finally gives birth to an heir. What follows is the recruitment of the Narnians to Caspian's cause and the battles that happen.
Now for those of you that saw LWW(Narnia 1), and thought it was childish and expected more of the same from the second, then you are mistaken. Prince Caspian is my third favorite fantasy movie, right behind Return of the King and Fellowship of the Ring. It is a much more mature movie than the last one.
Ben Barnes, who plays Caspian, does a great job in going from a naive prince, to a vengeful king. He said that he took his accent from Inigo Montoya(sp) from The Princess Bride and he does a really good job in making sure it's consistent throughout the movie.
The four actors who play the children have obviously matured, not only physically(since it's been three years since LWW) but also in their abilities as actors. If you thought some of the scenes in LWW seemed, well, bad or the swordplay was very basic, you were right. But expecting the same thing out of this film would be a mistake. The action scenes are great, the fight choreography has definitely improved, and the movie is overall darker.
William Moseley, who plays Peter, must have had so much fun making this film since he does a TON of horseback riding, sword fighting and a lot of facetime on screen. Anna Popplewell, who plays Susan, also got a lot of actions scenes, albeit, as an archer not a swordman. She also got hot these past three years and really pulls off the warrior queen very well. Yummy. All four of them have really improved their acting and most of the things you saw in LWW that you thought were bad are gone.
The person I was most impressed with though was Sergio Castellitto who plays Miraz. His facial expressions and the emotions he gives the cameras with just his eyes is awesome. His fight scene with Peter at the end is just plain out awesome. It doesn't take the fight into the realm of high-flying fights like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but they were awesome nonetheless.
Now the biggest complaint you will probably hear from the purists and hardcore Narnia fans is the amount of things Adamson added to the film, along with the timeline changes. Most of the timeline changes are small and helps the story stay interesting and flow better. The additions, on the other hand, completely change parts of the story, but I didn't have a problem with any of them, and I have read all the books. So if you saw the first one and haven't grown up with the books, it won't matter anyways.
When the movie says it is "Based upon the books by C.S. Lewis" it really means it since Adamson took a lot of creative liberty with the story. This is still a great fantasy adventure, though, and any fan that loves epic fantasy and drama really needs to see it.
BigPopa's rating: 9 out of 10 Hot Warrior/Archer/Queens.