Hey folks, Valkor here. Last night I was given the opportunity to catch the premiere to the latest film in the "Chronicles of Narnia" series. Along with me, I brought along my buddy "The Fabe" (aka Epic-1, Thanks for coming out duder) as we trekked through the streets of NYC, made our way over to the AMC theater, stuffed our faces with popcorn and nachos, and happily feasted our eyes upon the masterpiece that is "Prince Caspian". To say it was simply good is an understatement - it was grrrr-reat! And while not a perfect film, it does kick a lot of ass.
The story of Prince Caspian goes like this: There is a new child born in the land of Narnia, who belongs to King Leon... oops... I mean King Miraz. However, his son will not be next to partake of the throne as that honor goes to Caspian. Now Leoni... Damn! I mean Miraz decides to have Caspian killed. However, Professor and friend Dumbl... I mean Cornelius helps Caspian escape, but not before giving him a horn, a very familiar horn from the first film, which Caspian uses while he's being chased by Miraz's men and is suddenly surrounded by trolls.
Switching over to present day earth, we meet the Pevensies: Lucy, Peter, Edmund, and Susan, who are adjusting to their lives after spending many years in Narnia as its kings and queens. Now they're just regular folk, but they long to go back to the world they once ruled. Suddenly the foursome are whisked back to Narnia, meeting up with the Narnians, where they learn that its 1300 years later and a whole lot has changed since they left. Narnia is now run by Spar... I mean Telmarine soldiers, most of the familiar Narnia creatures are dead or are in hiding and those that are alive are heading up a rebellion, gearing up for all out war with the Telmarines. The Pevensies agree to help the Narnians once again, but not as their ruler but to help put Caspian on the throne and bring peace to Narnia once again. The story in "Prince Caspian" is much darker than the previous film; the Narnians who looked all shiny and new in the first film are now grittier and more savage looking. The trolls, Minotaurs, and Satyrs who were on the side of evil are now on the side of good (Because the Telmarines don't discriminate against fantasy creatures, they want them all wiped out). We're also introduced to some old characters and plenty of new ones, all wrapped within a fantastic story. After the film, we sat through a little Q and A. And by "Q and A", I mean Fabe and I had a discussion about the film. And this is what we came up with.
I've never read any of the Narnia books, but I will say that "Prince Caspian" is a great companion film to the first flick - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The cast main cast of Lucy (Georgie Henley), Peter (William Moseley), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and Susan (Anna Popplewell), while they're a bit older, really fit into their roles and bring their A-game to the table. New Cast member Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian) really rounds out the cast. And I really can't imagine anyone else in the role. But the show stealer goes out to Reepicheep (voiced by Eddie Izzard); you're gonna love this little mouse as soon as he's on screen as he rocks that hard. (Just don't call him cute). Rounding out the cast is Sergio Castellitto as Leoni... oops I mean Miraz. He makes a seriously wicked villain, though not as villainous as I'd like him to be at the end, but still good. Finally, a geek favorite, Warwick Davis aka Wicket from the Ewoks, makes an appearance as Nikabrik; here's a guy used to wearing a ton of makeup and if I didn't already know he was in the film, I wouldn't have been able to point him out from the other trolls - that's how awesome the make-up effects are. Now, the digital effects kick ass too, especially the scene with the Waterlord, which by far, was the best scene in the film. The theater literally shook the entire time it was on screen. Visually, the film is stunning as there are scenes that are so beautiful as to make you cry. One scene, in particular, is when the Penvensies, along with Trumpkin, are sailing on a boat, and with the camera is overhead, the water below is the most delicious blue you've ever seen - and you can see clear to the bottom. However most of the film is dark and gritty and as it should as these are dark times for Narnia. The effects on the animals are much the same as the first film, which is still damn good. (Especially Reepicheep, I freaking love this mouse!!)
As great as "Prince Caspian" was, it's not without its imperfections. First off, the White Witch makes an appearance and as much as I loved her in the first flick, her presence in this film was pointless and felt like total filler. Second, not enough Aslan. Though his character isn't as integral to the story as the first film; still I wanted to see glimpses of him here and there. Every once in awhile he could have popped his head in just so we know he's around because we know he's in the film and he'll have his role to play at the end. Lastly, it's rated PG. I know it's a Disney film and they play up to the whole family thing, but a bit more blood, a bit more hack and slash would have made this film even greater than it already is. Ok, that last one was more of nitpick, but still, just a bit more blood. It's a freaking war! People are dying! So, you know, it's ok to show the people and creatures banged up a bit.
The summer movie season is kicking off just right and so far it's three for three for me, making Prince Caspian the capper of the trifecta; we still have the Hulk and Batman to look forward to. But come May 16th, when Prince Caspian is released, make your way to your local theater and check it out. It's an exhilarating, fantastical piece of filmage that you seriously don't want to miss. Bar none if you loved the first film, you'll go ga-ga over the second. And out of TOV 5 stars, Prince Caspian gets a 4.5.