So, my original intention was to see Sex and the City this weekend. Not so much for myself, but because I thought it would appeal to my target demographic (Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the high fashion and ribald humor of Sex and the City on TV, I just don’t believe many TV shows can make the jump to the big screen). But, I’m back at home now so I’ve been spending some time with my mother and she decided she’d really like to go to the movies. Since I didn’t think she’d enjoy 148 minutes of jokes about bikini waxes and oral sex, I decided we’d go see the somewhat tamer Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian instead.
Now, I was a bit wary for several reasons. First, if you’ve read my review of The Other Boleyn Girl you know there’s nothing I like better than a period film and this one spans two periods: WWII era England and sometime in Narnia roughly equivalent to our world’s medieval era. But, there’s nothing I hate more than computer generated animals, and let me tell you, Narnia’s full of them. Plus, I’ve never appreciated the mixing of religion and popular entertainment. Don’t agree? Just take a look at Veggie Tales.
In the end, however, this installment of the Chronicles of Narnia won me over for several reasons.
Number 1: Eye candy. I admit it, part of me wanted to go just to ogle Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes). Maybe it’s the cleft in his chin, or maybe it’s the whole orphan thing that does it for me. See, Prince Caspian and his uncle, Miraz, are rivals for the throne of the Telmarine people, who, for some reason, have Spanish accents (is there a Spain in Narnia?). After his son is born, Miraz wants to kill Caspian, who’s got no one to protect him except his tutor, who looks a little like Santa Claus. So the tutor gives Caspian a horn, Susan’s horn to be exact, and he flees into the woods and blows it, bringing Susan and the gang back to Narnia through a portal in London’s subway system. Now they, and Prince Caspian, must fight the Telmarines in a battle to save Narnia.
Number 2: Warwick Davis (“Madmartigan, Madmartigan a troll stole the baby!”). When I saw his name in the opening credits, I knew I’d made the right choice. And if you’ve ever seen the 1988 classic Willow starring Val Kilmer, I know you’ll agree. I guess wherever there’s a fantasy movie populated by magical dwarves, you’ll find Warwick Davis.
Number 3: More fighting. Normally I’m not a fan of war, but a movie like this calls for some fighting. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe spent too long building up to it, but in Prince Caspian it’s spread out nice and even, and everybody gets into it. In Narnia, even the water kicks ass.
Number 4: Girl Power. If you remember the first movie, Susan and Lucy didn’t actually fight in the battle despite Susan’s being mean with a bow and arrow (why give it to her if you weren’t going to let her use it?). This time, however, she’s right in the thick of it and she’s taking names. Of course, Lucy still doesn’t fight (I guess she’s too young), and we still have to deal with the obligatory girl-gets-saved-by-boy scene when Prince Caspian comes to the rescue, but all in all I’m proud of Susan. If you can battle alongside minotaurs and tigers, you’re all right in my book.
So, in conclusion: eye candy, Warwick Davis, fierce battles, and a little girl power. It’s a combination that can’t be beat. Plus, you’ve got to love a movie that’s got a fur groomer in the credits and this one’s got at least five. Beat that, Sarah Jessica Parker.