(If this is your first time on this blog, I ask you to read my About page first! You can find a link to it at the top left-hand corner of this blog. Thanks!)
Disney was hoping that their The Chronicles of Narnia films would become their The Lord of the Rings franchise! Sadly, that plan went to pot after the second film was released in 2008! Was The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian THAT bad to warrant dropping the franchise? Read on to find out!
And remember, SPOILERS AHEAD!
The film begins in Narnia wherein the Telmarine king, Miraz, played by Sergio Castellitto, has been blessed with a son one night by his wife, Queen Prunaprismia, played by Alicia Borrachero. Hearing this news, Miraz’s nephew, Prince Caspian, played by Ben Barnes, runs away from the palace at night into the nearby forest. About to be captured by two Narnian dwarfs in the forest, he blows a horn that he stole from the castle.
The film cuts to present-day London where we are reunited with the Pevensie children from the first film. Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy (played again by William Moseley, Skandar Keynes, Anna Popplewell, and Georgie Henley, respectively) are a bit older, but still schoolchildren. They’re at a train station waiting for the upcoming tube, when all of a sudden, the station seems to collapse in front of their eyes and they are magically back in Narnia again.
They start to remember their earlier “lives” in Narnia when they reigned as kings and queens and start exploring the familiar landscapes all the while trying to figure out how they got there. Whilst exploring, they happen to notice a couple of Telmarine soldiers about to drown a dwarf. Using their weapons (that they’ve found lying around in Narnia), the Pevensies manage to rescue the dwarf from the soldiers.
This dwarf is named Trumpkin and is played by Peter Dinklage. He was one of the dwarfs who found Prince Caspian in the forest at the beginning of the film, but was captured by Miraz and used as proof to the Telmarine counsel that Narnians aren’t extinct. Apparently, Narnians have been living in hiding in the forest since the Telmarines took over. They kept such a low profile that the Telmarines thought them to be extinct!
Trumpkin is at first cynical about the Pevensies, but then realizes that they’re the kings and queens of old and were conjured here when Prince Caspian blew into that horn.
Speaking of Prince Caspian, he’s been in the custody of the second dwarf, Nikabrik, played by Warwick Davis. Prince Caspian explains to Nikabrik how Miraz was envious of him succeeding the throne. And now that Miraz has a son of his own, he wants Prince Caspian killed! Prince Caspian then promises Nikabrik and the other Narnians in hiding that if they help him reclaim his rightful throne, he can bring peace between them and the Telmarines.
Not long after, the Pevensies bump into Prince Caspian and both sides realize who the other is. Peter and Prince Caspian have a bit of a feud at the beginning, as both are leaders vying to lead their people to victory against the Telmarines. Meanwhile, Susan and Prince Caspian seem to have a thing for each other, but in the midst of the political situation, their romance is mostly written out.
Later that night, they plan a surprise attack on the Telmarines’ castle, but that ends in failure. Disappointed with the aftermath, Nikabrik tries to convince Prince Caspian to summon the White Witch from the previous film, played again by Tilda Swinton, but fortunately, the others come in time to stop that from happening and kill Nikabrik when he refuses to stand down.
Eventually, the Pevensies and the Narnians challenge King Miraz and his armies to an open battle. King Miraz is killed by one of his advisers, but the Telmarines lose the overall battle when the Narnians come together and fight alongside Aslan the lion (voice again by Liam Neeson) who finally shows up!
At the end of the battle, Aslan allows some of the Telmarines to go back to the human world to start life afresh if they so choose. Prince Caspian becomes King of Narnia. And the Pevensie children are sent back home, although Aslan mentions that Peter and Susan will not be able to return to Narnia anymore.
But, Edmund and Lucy may still come in the future.
And that was The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian! So answering the previous question, yes, the film is bad enough to warrant Disney dropping the franchise! It’s just such a letdown from the first film. The story is a bit convoluted and hard to follow and so many scenes are stretched out resulting in a movie that’s 2.5 hours long and doesn’t need to be!
The special effects are ok, but nothing special for the time. The acting by Georgie Henley is probably the best, while the other Pevensie actors are at least trying. Ben Barnes gives an ok performance while Sergio Castellitto, Peter Dinklage, and Warwick Davis are just your average tyrannical king and dwarfs, respectively!
This film franchise is set to have reboot soon by a non-Disney company, so here’s hoping they can get it right this time!
(You can click on the image below for an enlarged version of my rating sheet.)
So, the final score for this film is 20/35 = 57.14% (F) !
The next review will be posted on February 27, 2018.