I Am Prince Caspian. Yes You Are.

Move over Legolas, there is another, fairer creature in these sun dappled woods and his name be Prince Caspian (actor Ben Barnes). Yesterday, I went to watch the next installment of Chronicles of Narnia. Good triumphs, evil staggers, and a war decides it. There is faith, hope, death and hubris, but those lessons were all subsumed by the foremost rule of life: Cast an incredibly hot guy with a British (was it Scottish? Irish? it was a bit brogue) accent and the movie is perfect.

Best lines of the movie:

Susan: Who are you?
Prince: I am Prince Caspian.

Yes. You. Are.

Okay, back to the movie. I got the feeling that director Adam Adamson tried to make the movie as non-spiritual as he could. He failed. The material is just too rich in morality. That doesn’t mean that Aslan inhabits every scene. To the contrary, Aslan shows up late, thus the consternation of the people trying to save the world. Where does God go when things go bad and why doesn’t He always save the day? You’ll have to see the movie to get the answers.

If there is a weakness to the movie, it’s the screenplay. It was difficult to follow the storyline and the editing seemed choppy in parts. It was saved by the acting and the strength of the plot. It was good versus evil after all, so that was uncomplicated. Why some were bad wasn’t quite explained and why the badness was allowed to happen wasn’t exactly explained either. I was left wondering if the badness was, in fact, the leaders of Narnia’s fault. The question was never answered. Still, the flaws in the story didn’t detract from the movie too irritatingly.

The set design enthralls. The effects felt more real and richer this time around. The villains were not caricatures. In fact, this wasn’t your average Harry Potter flick where the acting is as fantastical as the story line. I appreciated that the bad guys acted bad for bad reasons and didn’t condescend.

In fact, that’s what I like about C.S. Lewis’ and Tolkien, both. Neither condescends to the young reader. The moral choices are life and death and you don’t have to be 30 years old and wizened by war to understand the implications. In Prince Caspian, both Peter the High King and Caspian make selfish choices that get other people killed and both muster the courage to continue on and learn and do differently next time around. The scenes were intense.

The movie earns its PG rating. While there isn’t gory bloodshed, the victims of hubris come to undeserving ends and the child watching this movie will know that good people die. So if you feel like your child is too young for that lesson, don’t bring him. Overall, the film is visually gorgeous and not just because Caspian is a spoonful of yummy. The Narnians, castles, ruins and effects create a paradise that you’ll want to jump through the screen to join. Go see it.

I give it 4/5 stars.

Cross-posted at Dr. Melissa Clouthier.

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