The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, the second movie from C.S. Lewis’ Narnia trilogy opened Friday the 16th of May, nationwide.  If you are in downtown Seattle you can catch it at Regal Meridian 16. 

What is it? Four siblings, two brothers and two sisters are magically transported from the London Underground (during World War II) to the fantastical realm of Narnia – where they had previously lived alternate lives as Kings and Queens (the subject matter of the first movie), and they are called upon to once again save the day and the land.  You do not need to have seen the first movie for the second movie to make sense.

At its BEST (7.5): Its a fairy tale of good and evil, talking woodland creatures, mythical beasts, magic, evil tyrants and marauding armies of knights and catapults (or, more accurately trebuchets).  The story is simple yet entertaining, and the effects, costumes and scenery are lavish and wondrous.  The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is not too complicated or dark, making it a great movie for kids.

At its WORST (5.5): It never really reaches any sort of crescendo; it plods along and even drags at times.  There is almost no character development at all and it tries very hard to stay away from the fact that this is a sequel – meaning the characters can, and probably should, be built upon.  There is just an obvious lack of real excitement, tension or energy in this movie.  It does look nice, but if you are over the age of 12, it may fail completely to interest you.

Others like it: Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings (much better than Narnia), Willow, Spiderwick Chronicles

Who’s in it? Other than the voices of Eddie Izzard (The Riches (TV), My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Ocean’s 13) and Liam Neeson (Star Wars: Episode I, Rob Roy, Kinsey), the stars (the four kids and Prince Caspian) are relative unknowns.

Who Directed it? Andrew Adamson (Shrek, Shrek 2, Chronicles of Narnia) also wrote the screenplay for this and the first Narnia film. 

How Long is it? 140 minutes

Phil’s Thoughts: Even though the film looks really nice and it has 2 hours and 20 minutes to tell its story, it lacked depth and detail.  I was only moderately entertained, and I never got excited.  The bad guy wasn’t that bad, the evil army was never really threatening, and the battle was anticlimactic. There wasn’t enough plot or character development for me, at all.  In the end, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian just lacked “oomph!” and really dragged as well in several places.  However, I think for a family (specifially the kids) it is a really good choice of late spring movie.

Community Film Forecast: Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian @ Regal Meridian