Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian *1/2

Director: Andrew Adamson
Cast: William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes,
Georgie Henley, Ben Barnes, Sergio Castellitto, Damián Alcázar, Peter Dinklage

One year after their adventure featured in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe", the Pevensie kids (Moseley, Popplewell, Keynes, Henley) find themselves during WWII London missing the thrills they felt in Narnia.
Just in time to indulge their ennui they are magically transported back to the place they missed so much only to realize that more than a thousand years have passed after their last visit.
They have been summoned by Prince Caspian (Barnes), a Telmarine prince trying to regain his throne after being betrayed by his uncle Miraz (Castellitto).
The Telmarines conquered Narnia after the Pevensies left the first time, practically exterminating all the magical creatures that inhabited it and even worse denying their very existence to subsequent generations.
Now Caspian finds himself seeking help from "old Kings and Queens" he never knew existed and before you can say Exodus metaphor he has united with mythological creatures to defeat his uncle and reestablish balance in Narnia.
For a film that sounds so promising and exciting in words, "Prince Caspian" pretty much feels like Nah-rnia.
Everything in it is bigger than before, the set pieces are astonishing and the visual effects couldn't be better. Yet again they could, because somewhere in between dancing trees and mouseketeers, the story lost its need to thrill.
It's as if the filmmakers took for granted the need to make audiences believe they were watching something magical and unique, choosing instead a complete ho hum mood.
The acting is respectable (Tilda Swinton has a very small scene as the White Witch and gives the film its only life), even though the casting is a bit racist as they place all non-British actors in the roles of the savage Telmarines, complete with violent conquistador armors and distinctively forced accents, but somehow not even this is able to keep your interest.
And it's only then when you realize what the problem was all along; despite the fact that this is clearly fantasy with Christian allegories at the bottom of it all, it's still a story about selfish kids who travel between worlds to satisfy their apparent blood thirst (even if you don't see actual blood in the film).
Even worse, once all the problems are solved with such efficiency and ease you wonder if a whole movie was needed for them to go through this?
With an exuberant running time of 140 minutes, the film at least remains true to its time shifting structure, because leaving the theater you feel you too have aged a thousand years.

1 comment:

woodstock said...

i loooooooooove when you're bitter.