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The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Movie Review

  • Film Release: May 16, 2008
  • DVD Release: December 2, 2008

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian opened in theaters May 16, 2008, returning viewers with the four Pevensie children to C.S. Lewis' hauntingly unforgettable land of Narnia. If you've read the book, you know the children were magically pulled back after a year spent in England (for the movie viewing audience it took 2.5 years), but in Narnia 1300 years had passed.

During this time, Narnia had been taken captive by the evil King Miraz (Sergio Castellitto) and the inhabitants of the once glorious kingdom were driven into a dark forest exile.

Back in Narnia, the older and wiser Pevensie siblings—ancient Kings and Queens of Narnia—join forces with young Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes), a type of Moses and the true heir to the throne of Narnia, to free the captives from their oppression and deliver them back into the restored splendor of Narnia. Like the children of Israel, the courage of the Pevensie children is tested and their faith is tried along the journey.

Prince Caspian Movie Is a Faithful Adaptation

I was thrilled to see the filmmakers had faithfully rendered to the big screen the many biblical themes that Lewis penned within The Chronicles of Narnia. You too will see them ... if you look for them.

Sin's dark power to decay the heart of man, obscure his vision, separate him from God and keep him in bondage is quite evident in this motion picture. This is why some reviewers have described Prince Caspian as "darker" than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Both King Peter (William Moseley) and Prince Caspian eventually learn that they cannot defeat their powerful enemy in their own strength. In the end, and in his uniquely purposed way, Aslan uses the weaker, younger, rejected creatures of Narnia to win the victory over a strong enemy and restore beauty, harmony and light to the kingdom.

True to the Spirit of the Original Tale, Yet Changed

For the purpose of screen adaptation, the film plays out a bit differently than Lewis' book, yet the spirit of the tale is intact. Some viewers may be disheartened to find elements of the original story quite changed, but I was delighted to encounter several scenes precisely as I had imagined them.

Perhaps just a bit of the magic is missing in this second film. The flip-flopped storyline, however, bothered me much less than the strangely unexpected "Antonio Banderas" accents of the Mediterranean looking Telmarines. (This detail seemed out of place in my imagination.) Still, there is much to be enjoyed, including many humorous moments laced with genuine "Shrek appeal."

Technical Splendor and Epic Battle Scenes

In this second silver screen Chronicle, Disney brings Narnia to even greater technical splendor with grand, sweeping landscapes, arresting visual effects and epic outdoor battle scenes (but with just a little too much medieval combat for my taste). It's not that it is particularly graphic or bloody, just a great deal of fighting. Even so, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is well worth the entertainment investment, but not recommended for smaller children.

Christian rock band Switchfoot had the honor of recording "This Is Home," a new original song for Prince Caspian, which runs during the end credits. Switchfoot's lead vocalist, Jon Foreman told Gracehill Media, "We are so honored to be a part of the Prince Caspian film with 'This Is Home' ... The Narnia stories have a really special place in my brother Tim and my lives. Our dad used to read these to us at bedtime when we were boys. Our imaginations were shaped on these amazing novels ... I am always taken by [C. S.] Lewis' ability to write about the bittersweet beauty in this world; this home we aren't really made for but is the place we work out our humanity in the midst of our longing for our true home."

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is rated PG for battle action and violence. You can check out a great Christian movie review at Plugged In Online. It contains one spoiler, but is loaded with enough detail to help you decide if the film is appropriate for your whole family.

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