Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The Chronicals of Narnia: Prince Caspian *** (For The Crawley Observer)

Narnia is clearly on of this year's biggest films for families but unfortunately it doesn't live up to its expectations.

Compared to the previous film this is a lot darker, possibly losing the audience it previously gained. And with little elements of mystery and magic, but action scenes and evil characters that aren't pleasant makes this film a lot harder to watch and understand.
Having said that, some scenes are beautifully crafted, the special effects are stunning and the scenery is just as glorious and immense as it was in the first Narnia; this making is slightly easier to watch during the action scenes.

Taking the set away, the storyline is weak. Giving little detail about the plot away, the narrative is actually quite dull. The first half doesn't have a moment where it picks up. And considering this is a lengthy film, you do become bored watching a lot of dialogue based scenes. However, the second half is filled with everything from the amazing effects to the huge war-like fights meaning by the end of the film you actually feel quite satisfied.

Many recognisable faces are provided for you during this film if you have seen the previous. And there are a few more characters (Prince Caspian being one of them, obviously) that are new to the story providing its chance to move on. However, like in the first, the four main characters aren't believable or enjoyable to watch so you're left to find comfort in the mysterious creatures that, in this, aren't very original or fun.

To sum up the film, it's a mixture between Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. But, although it's meant to be a film based on fantasy, its hard to find the fantasy about it. Yes there's half animal/half human creatures but its such a left down from the first film. If you're a fan of the books you may understand the film more but coming from a film point of view, this just doesn't cut it.

See it if you're a fan of this type of film, or if you like tame action scenes, but don't if you're expecting something great from this highly anticipated film. It's beautifully filmed, the sets are amazing and the special effects are out of this world. But the acting, narrative and overall impression of the film is disappointing, meaning this summer is going to have to find another blockbuster.

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