The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (PG)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Jun 24 2008Like the second instalments of Peter Jackson’s ‘Rings’ cycle and the Potter films, the latest Narnia adventure goes ‘dark’. But don’t be too worried. Admittedly, the cosy wardrobe is gone, the witch is put on ice and the lion has gone walkabout. Also, while the four Pevensie children – Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy – have spent a boring year back at school in World War II London, Narnia has undergone a repressive 1,300-year dark age, dispensing the likes of sweet faun Mr Tumnus to history. But as soon as you see the tunnel of Strand tube station open before the four gas-mask-carrying siblings and plonk them straight onto a Swiss Family Robinson-style island, you know all’s well.
For this second ‘Narnia’, director Andrew Adamson has decided to vamp up the battle scenes, including ranks of CGI-copied soldiers that frankly look second rate against Jackson’s set pieces. Likewise, his new scratch army of characters – from grumpy dwarf Trumpkin (Peter Dinklage), to sword-fighting mouse Reepicheep (Eddie Izzard) and a stable of red-faced centaurs – seem derivative. And, further, there’s arguably too much distracting ‘business’ with the weirdly Iberian-accented new ‘enemy’, the Telmarines. But, all that said, ‘Prince Caspian’ retains a winning, albeit old-fashioned charm of its own. Much of that is down to the performances of the siblings – notably Georgie Henley’s Lucy – who balance the film’s fantastic excursions with a sweetly domestic sense of scale.
Author: Wally Hammond