Opening 31 Jul 2008
Writing credits: Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, C.S. Lewis
Principal actors: Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell
Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media present the second film installment of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. Directed by Andrew Adamson, the four young actors playing the Pevensie children – Georgie Henley (Lucy), Skandar Keynes (Edmund), Anna Popplewell (Susan) and William Moseley (Peter) – return and are joined by Ben Barnes in the role of Prince Caspian.
A year has passed in our world since Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter's involuntary return from Narnia, where they had spent half a life-time as kings and queens. In Narnia, however, 1300 years have passed. The country was long ago invaded and conquered by the men from Telmar, who did their best to exterminate all the native magical creatures, and suppress the myths and stories of the past. Prince Caspian, however, is of a different quality to his blood-thirsty ancestors. Though heir to the empty throne, his life is in danger the moment his scheming uncle Miraz becomes father to a boy. On the instigation of his old tutor, Caspian escapes to the forest, carrying little more than his sword and the legendary horn of Queen Susan. His first encounter with real Narnians is so surprising that Caspian instinctively blows the horn.
Across space and time, waiting on a platform of the London underground, the four Pevensie children are suddenly drawn back into Narnia – drawn by the magic of Susan's horn. At first they do not recognise where they are, but as they wander through ancient cliff top ruins they suddenly realise this was their former home, the castle Cair Paravel. Rediscovering ancient chests full of their royal attire and weaponry, the four dress to the occasion and set out to find out what has been going on in their beloved kingdom. Their path soon brings them to Prince Caspian who has managed to rally the Narnians around him to try and reconquer their home. Despite the fact that the lion Lord Aslan has not been seen in Narnia for time beyond memory, the return of the kings and queens of old brings new hope, though the odds stand mightily against them. Citing Caspian as a traitor, Miraz has managed to convince the Telmar lords to crown him king, and to secure the support of their many armies. The outcome of the impending battle looks pretty hopeless for the Narnian's.
As with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, this new episode from the Chronicles of Narnia follows CS Lewis' story fairly closely. Despite the battle scenes it is, like the book, directed at an audience of older children. The gorgeous scenery (much of it filmed in New Zealand), fantastical array of characters and beautiful costumes will delight the viewer. While not brilliant, the acting is good enough to ensure that the cinematographic enjoyment is not spoiled. (Osanna Vaughn)