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The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (***)
directed by Andrew Adamson
written by Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely, based on a book by C. S. Lewis
Principal Cast
Ben Barnes -- Prince Caspian
Georgie Henley -- Lucy Pevensie
Skandar Keynes -- Edmund Pevensie
William Moseley -- Peter Pevensie
Anna Popplewell -- Susan Pevensie
Sergio Castellitto -- King Miraz
Peter Dinklage -- Trumpkin
Warwick Davis -- Nikabrik
Vincent Grass -- Doctor Cornelius
Pierfrancesco Favino -- General Glozelle
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Andrew Adamson, who helmed this film of the second book in the seven book Narnia series, decided to go all out for big-budget action this time. Maybe the studio pushed him in that direction, but he deserves the credit and blame for turning a human adventure into a special-effects extravaganza. In the middle is an entire battle sequence that isn't in the book and doesn't advance the plot -- the only excuse for its existence is that the presumptive audience for this film likes big battle sequences.

In the first film -- much better than this one -- the most touching moment was Lucy watching snow falling.

There are other problems. In the book, if Aslan tells you to walk off a cliff, you walk off a cliff. That only works if Aslan is God, the Christian God, the God of the Bible. But in this movie it is not entirely clear what Aslan is. If he is a God, he is a nature God, not the explicitly Christian God of the books, certainly not the kind of God you walk off a cliff for, just because he tells you to.

There is another false step. In the one-on-one battle between Peter and Miraz, Peter, even though he has just finished killing any number of Miraz's henchmen, refrains from killing Miraz. This is a movie cliché, and rings false every time I see it, which is often. The hero kills all the henchmen, and then spares the chief villain. From a moral point of view, and the Narnia books are all about what is moral and what is not, you should kill the chief and, as much as possible, spare the henchmen. To turn it the other way around is one of those movie things that film writers seldom stop to think about.

In the book, Peter refrains from stabbing Miraz in the back, which is something else entirely.

There is a fair amount of good stuff, clever stuff, in the movie. You'll enjoy it. But it could have been so much better.

Copyright © 2008 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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