It’s that wonderful time of year when all the summer movies that we missed start coming out on DVD. We had the choice of seeing Prince Caspian or Wall-E last night, and we chose Prince Caspian for Katherine’s sake. I know she’s going to love Wall-E, so we might as well wait until she can watch it with us, right?
They took a LOT of liberties with the book. I read the books this last year, and I wondered how they were going to make Prince Caspian into a movie because, frankly, not much really happens in the book. So instead of making a short film that more closely resembled the book, they made this behemoth of an epic that, towards the end, had me wondering if I shouldn’t just go to bed. It was looooong. Really, really, really long.
For those who haven’t read the book, the additions probably won’t bother you. For those who have… expect a bumpy, and tiring, ride.
I also really disliked how they changed the nature of many of the characters. In the book, Caspian, Peter, and the others are all generally great friends with good relationships. The movie leaves each fighting their own personal battles and conflicts and arguing amongst themselves. Again, for those who haven’t read the book….
One change from the book that I did like, however, was they set up nicely some of Susan’s future problems. The books kind of blindside you with that later on, but the movie sets it up well and leaves me thinking that there are many, many more sequels in the works (not necessarily a good thing, not necessarily a bad thing).
I don’t know what it is, but I really don’t like either of the Chronicles films except for one character: Edmund. He was the only believable person in the first film, and this second film he was even better. He just was. I loved the interaction with King Miraz at the end in particular. Maybe I like him because he is the only one who seems to have any real depth or life to him.
Lucy was also a pleasant surprise. She’s grown up well since the last film and was much better and believable for it.
The last thing that I enjoyed, although I’m starting to find it annoying, was the incredible scenery and special effects. The River was amazing, and Aslan (who I thought looked fake in the first film) was absolutely stunning in this film. The thing I’m getting tired of, though, is that there seems to be this Lord of the Rings-ish quality to every shot as if the director was sitting back and saying, “Now let’s add a touch of LotR to that shot, and it’ll be perfect.” I mean really…. LotR was a great set of films with some incredible shots, but it was not the be all, end all of cinematography.
And if doubt the influence LotR has had on the filming of Prince Caspian, go back and watch the first scenes when Caspian is fleeing on horse back and then compare that to the part in the first LotR when Frodo and the Elf princess (I can’t remember her name for the life of me) are fleeing from the Ring Wraiths. You could almost superimpose the scenes on each other.
Oh boy…. This is a tough one. It was good on some levels, disappointing on others. And really, it all comes down to whether you have read the books or not. I guess it’s a split rating:
For those who haven’t read the books: 3 stars.
If you have read the books: 1.5 stars.