Reviews

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

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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.

Guess he doesn’t mind tooting his own horn!

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.

“Toto, I got a feeling we’re not in London anymore!”
“Which one of us is Toto?”
“Quiet, Edmund!”

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.

“So…you’re Trump’s kin, eh?”
“No, Trumpkin is my name!”
“Are you sure? You’re orange enough.”

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.

Gee, Elsa sure let herself go, huh?

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.

Either that or their contracts are up!

But, Edmund and Lucy may still come in the future.

Thankfully, this wasn’t Disney-made, so I don’t have to review it for this blog!

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.

11 thoughts on “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

      1. I’ll have to watch it again to see what I think now. Fantasy films are always a little boring for me but some like the Hobbit movies or Warcraft are painful to get through

  1. I’m glad you agree with me and not Doug Walker about this one! Lol.

    But honestly, yes, I remember telling you not to look forward to this one. I have seen all the Narnia adaptations, and this is by far my least favorite. It is very obvious they were trying to make this in the style of the Lord of the Rings films and that just doesn’t fit with the tone of the series. C.S. Lewis wasn’t writing action blockbusters, he was writing children’s fantasy novels/Christian parables, which probably explains why the book was only 15 chapters long and did not contain any ridiculous scenes with the characters launching an idiotic raid on the villain’s castle that is obviously destined to fail and be completely pointless.

    The antagonistic relationship between Peter and Caspian is also basically pointless and contrasts sharply with the book’s values of honor and chivalry. (Peter was more than ready to move on from his time spent ruling Narnia, and he wasn’t expecting to ever come back, let alone be King again. This is why he tells Caspian, “I haven’t come to take your place, you know, but to put you into it” as soon as they meet.)

    I also hate the scene where the White Witch is nearly resurrected. It’s obviously only in there because the filmmakers wanted Tilda Swinton to come back (the DvT filmmakers came up with another excuse for her to return) and it seems impossible to believe black magic could revive her so easily when Aslan killed her himself. (In the book, Nikabrik, the hag, and the werewolf are all killed before they can even begin the ritual to bring her back.)

    I have to be honest and admit that I was never a big fan of the book, though, as it’s mostly a retread of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. But it definitely had better storytelling than this film, and I would recommend even the flat 1989 BBC version over this.

    But I do agree with Doug Walker for the most part that people who have not read the book tend to like this film, and those who have read the book tend to hate it.

    The only part of this film I particularly liked at all was the ending, which manages to summon an appropriate melancholy on the Pevenies’ return to England after learning that Susan and Peter will never return to Narnia. And no, it wasn’t because their contracts were up:
    “Was that what Aslan was talking to you and Susan about this morning?” asked Lucy.
    “Yes-that and other things,” said Peter, his face very solemn. “I can’t tell it to you all. There were things he wanted to say to Su and me because we’re not coming back to Narnia.”
    “Never?” cried Edmund and Lucy in dismay.
    “Oh, you two are,” answered Peter. “At least, from what he said, I’m pretty sure he means you to get back some day. But not Su and me. He says we’re getting too old.”
    “Oh, Peter,” said Lucy. “What awful bad luck. Can you bear it?”
    “Well, I think I can,” said Peter. “It’s all rather different from what I thought. You’ll understand when it comes to your last time. But quick. Here are our things.”

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Yeah, I guess I’m one of those who hasn’t read the books, but still dislikes the film anyway.

      I meant the “contracts were up” thing as a joke mostly, but thank you for showing me that even in the book, they were told they weren’t coming back.

      1. In that case, I’d just like to quote Nikabrik’s response in the book when he is asked to explain why he let a hag and a werewolf into a private council meeting, just because it is hilarious:
        “They are friends of mine,” said Nikabrik. “And what better right have you yourself to be here than that you are a friend of Trumpkin’s and the Badgers? And what right has that old dotard in the black gown to be here except that he is your friend? Why am I to be the only one who can’t bring in his friends?”

  2. You shouldn’t be thankful not to have to review Voyage of the Dawn Treader, though. They finally got the tone right and it’s a great improvement on this.

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