Friday, January 23, 2009

Movie #37: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

I am woefully behind in these movie reviews, so I'll make this one a quickie---which will stand in stark contrast to the 2 hour and 29 minute run time of this, the second movie in the Narnia series. Having never read any of the C.S. Lewis books, and having only barely paid attention to the first Narnia movie (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), I had little to no expectations for this expensive, special effects-laden sequel. In fact, given my usual disdain for fantasy-themed movies, it's somewhat surprising I even watched it at all. But when the Pirate® gives me something to watch, inevitably it gets watched. In the case of Prince Caspian, I lucked out.

It's a bit long and repetitive, and the character of Prince Caspian is a bad accent-heavy pretty boy I wanted to run through with my own sword, but this is a well-made action film with special effects that seamlessly integrate themselves so as to create a genuine belief that what we see on screen is what was really being filmed. And what we see on screen is amazing. It's arguably another milestone for the special effects field. Peter Dinklage steals the show as a misanthropic dwarf and Eddie Izzard, miscast as the voice of a stiletto-wielding mouse, is a voice I never tire of---no matter how out-of-place it may be here.

The religious overtones are extremely obvious in the final act and, to be honest, did bother me. The role of Aslan the Lion, creepily voiced by Lian Neeson, is a perfect illustration for why I don't have a strong connection to organized religion. Aslan would never be the God I would willingly worship. He is arrogant, vengeful, and noticeably absent when he's most needed. But, you know, he's a lion. So what do you expect? Anyhoo, religious issues excepted, Prince Caspian is a lot of fun...and it has children being extremely violent and killing lots of people. I like that sort of thing.

Grade: 7/10


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