Category Archives: tolkien

Prince Caspian

I think at some point I should actually read some of the Narnia books. I’ve seen previous versions of some of the series made for TV, as well as 2005’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and I always walk away with a feeling that I’ve missed something. It’s not that I’m thick or something and don’t get it – it’s that I feel there are elements that may have been in the books that ain’t making it to the new media.

That feeling hit me again tonight when I saw The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Now for all intents and purposes, and especially to the uninitiated, this is a sequel to the 2005 movie, and that may be for appearances. But, point in fact, this is the third in the Narnia series, and the connections made to its predecessor just aren’t there in the books. But as I said, I haven’t read said books, so it didn’t bug me much. It did however make me wonder what else had been tampered with in the translation.

Obviously the stories are quite old and needed to be updated for contemporary audiences I suppose, or possibly for more current tastes and trends. Specifically, the Lord of the Rings was hot so the powers-that-be in Hollywood seem to have made Narnia more like that, and believe me, after sitting through this 144 minute film, it really wants to be LotR. And I just find that ironic because Lewis and Tolkien were contemporaries who, by some accounts, really didn’t care for each other much.

It’s not great, but then again, it could have been much worse. The special effects are pretty spectacular and the performances quite good, but there are problems. Most notable among them are the thick accents of the Telmarines. I found myself wishing for captions at several points during the film. And then there are minor things like how Susan’s quiver never runs out of arrows.

All in all, it’s probably a good family film. Beware of a large body count, even though it’s ‘fantasy violence.’ Of course that’s a term I have never understood. How is getting run through with a magic sword less graphic than Bruce Willis shooting up a room with an Uzi anyway? Anyway, good flick, worth seeing, but maybe more worth the wait for DVD.