I just returned from the theater and watching the latest installment of the C.S. Lewis series "The Chronicles of Narnia." "Prince Caspian" continues the adventures of the Pevensie children in Narnia, this time called back by the title character to help restore Narnia and reclaim his throne from his usurping uncle.
While only a year has passed in our world, 1,300 years have passed in Narnia. Some of the talking animals have devolved to simple, non-talking beasts and the fantastical and magical creatures have gone underground as the Telmarines have conquered Narnia.
Some have criticized the movie for straying from the book. Unfortunately, it's been a couple years since I last read the book and loaned it to my father. I'll attempt to reclaim it this weekend and give it a quick re-re-re-read.
Setting that issue aside, if you're looking for an enjoyable movie experience, Prince Caspian definitely delivers. The movie is filled with CG-generated battles that awe the viewers -- all without the gore commonly associated with movie mayhem. Like the first movie, though swords slash and stab, they are never coated with any blood.
Viewers will also delight in the performance of the computer-generated Reepicheep, the chivalrous and courageous mouse who should never be described as "cute."
For readers of Lewis' work, there are some subtle tips-of-the-hat to the original work. In a scene near the end, Lucy, seeking to focus a dwarf who has been by her side from the beginning, and saved her life more than once, asks him if he sees Aslan now. It seems like a silly question. Aslan is standing right in front of him. Where early in the film only Lucy could see Aslan, now everyone can ... except perhaps skeptical dwarves. To the viewer unfamiliar with Lewis' books, one of the problems faced by the dwarves is one of disbelief. In "The Last Battle," the dwarves serve as the allegorical vessel to contain atheists and agnostics -- they stumble around with their eyes closed, oblivious to their surroundings. So Lucy's simple question holds a much deeper meaning, and is a foreshadowing of things to come.
The movie is rated PG. Not having kids, I'm often unsure of what age is appropriate to see this movie, but I think if they could handle the first one they'd be fine with the sequel.