One year has passed since four British schoolchildren, the Pevensies, encountered “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” but, when they return to Narnia, they discover that it’s 1300 years later in that magical realm – and a great deal has changed.
Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgia Henley) are summoned back by Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes), the rightful heir to the throne who has been ousted from his castle by his evil uncle, Lord Miraz (Sergio Castellitto) of the warlike Telmarines. Since the lion leader Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) has been gone for 1,000 years, Caspian and the last remaining Narnian creatures (centaurs, minotaurs, satyrs) have taken refuge deep in the forest.
Stunned to find their beloved Cair Paravel ruined, their animal friends long gone and Narnia a darker, more savage place, the now-legendary Pevensies must prove themselves once again, even against the ice-trapped White Witch (Tilda Swinton). They team up with two Narnian dwarves – Trumpkin (Peter Dinklage) and Nikabrik (Warwick Davis), along with Reepicheep (voiced by Eddie Izzard), a chivalrous, courageous mouse – to restore peace and glory once again.
Adapting the second of C.S. Lewis’s seven Narnia fantasies, writer/director Andrew Adamson, along with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, focus primarily on swashbuckling battle scenes with awesome production values, since their previously established primary characters have matured. Caspian initially arouses rivalry in Peter and romantic interest in Susan, marking the end of Narnia’s road for those two, leaving Edmund and Lucy to forge ahead on further adventures.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” is an imaginative, visually enchanting 8 – but, remember, as Aslan says, “Things never happen the same way twice.”