Movie Review: Prince Caspian

**Spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie**

I’ve been a C.S. Lewis fan since stumbling upon the Narnia series as a child. The stories were exciting, and it was fun to find the “hidden” Christian symbolism. I still enjoy the books today. I also loved the first Narnia movie: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I thought that they did an excellent job with translating that book to the big screen, and was pleased with how faithful they stayed to the original story.

I had the same high expectations for Prince Caspian. After seeing the film I have mixed feelings. It was enjoyable to watch, and over all I give it a good rating, but I don’t think it was done as well as LWW. Much like the Lord of the Rings movies, they took more liberties with the second story as compared to the first one. Not all the changes were bad, some were helpful. But other changes were unnecessary in my opinion.

This is a blockbuster movie, and it shows. I appreciate the resources and effort they have put into these movies. The special effects were amazing. The musical score was excellent. They did a great job with the character Reepicheep. The overall attention to detail was good. I appreciated the fact that a number of the lines came almost straight from the book. I also appreciated the extra little nods to fans of the books – like showing the bulgy bear sucking his paws.

They change the flow of the story line in the movie, and that worked well. It made it much easier to follow. In the original book Lewis follows a “flashback” storyline. The movie instead is chronological.

They developed the character Miraz more than he was explained in the book. The same is true of some of his evil cohorts. I thought the extra character development added to the story, and helped to explain why these were bad dudes who needed to be taken out.

There is a scene where they attempt to summon the White Witch. This is implied a bit in the book, but they took it much further in the movie. I liked the scene and thought it flowed well and added to the story.

The role of Aslan was minimized. He seemed to be almost an afterthought instead of the center of the story. He doesn’t really show up at all until the end. That is a shame.

The goodness of the four Pensive children takes a hit. The way the story line plays out, it would have been better if they had never come back to Narnia, because they’re more of a hindrance than a help. Peter’s character particularly this way. He is more concerned with making himself look good than he is with doing the right thing. He has a lot of unneeded conflicts with Prince Caspian.

Susan is turned into a fighting machine. She reminded me more of Legolas from Lord of the Rings than she did Susan of Narnia. This is not at all consistent with her character. If Lewis were still around, I think this change would bother him. In the books he made a point of keeping the girls out of the heat of battle, but in this movie they are thrown into the middle of it. They added some romance to Susan too, which was a little irritating.

The castle scene was a distraction. There were lots of amazing special effects during that part, but I don’t think it added anything to the story.

Overall review:
On a scale of 1 to 10 I give this movie a 7. Not as good as LWW which I would give maybe a 9. Still, it’s definitely worth seeing. I recommend it, and appreciate the job they did, and the fact that they are putting these on the big screen.

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