Tuesday, December 07, 2010
| Posted by
I liked The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe – I recently saw it again and was surprised to find myself still capable of tearing up at the goodbye scene in the beginning of the film ... that almost never happens even for a tearjerking movie I'm watching for the first time – and I loved Prince Caspian even more, with its added maturity to the story and the characters (not drastically, just subtly sufficient).
Unfortunately, two things happened to this one.
First of all, change of director. Michael Apted is far from a terrible director, but he's definitely no Andrew Adamson, who brought a certain kind of poignance to the films which is only possible with the way he structures the plot, and the pacing which gives the movie time to breathe (though it does make the films longer than some people would like, but I thought the pacing was just perfect for those two films).
Which leads to the second thing: 20th Century Fox. They have a history of forcefully compressing movies just so they can squeeze more screenings a day (or at least that's the most obvious but not necessarily true reason), Kingdom Of Heaven being just one case in point. And this one has the markings of that; the first half of the film felt rather truncated at times, like it was impatient at jumping to the next scene, but which unfortunately accentuated the episodic nature of the story. Look, the story's episodic as it is, so what you should be doing is to let the audience connect with the characters so that it glosses over the this-happens-then-this-happens feel undetected, not highlight it.
Ultimately what you got was an okay movie, but one that, considering the story, could have been great. The ending battle scene was sufficiently epic (though this one made the mistake of ending it too fast). I still love Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley and they continue to do alright here, but Will Poulter did impress – he was genuinely annoying to begin with, partly thanks to the whiny, poncey voice he used, and then something completely unexpected happens (I never read the books) which causes Edmund to say 'you've got to be joking' (and really, never has that phrase been more aptly used in all the movies I've seen) which eventually leads to his character's rather heroic redemption. And that poignant quality that I talked about in previous films, it's there in diminished form at the end of the film.
But again, the film could've been more. Bring back Adamson, I say!