Rating: 2.5 stars
Sadly for me, all the things I liked best about the original Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe—Tilda Swinton’s icily mesmerizing White Witch; James McAvoy’s puckish Mr. Tumnus; the refreshingly realistic sibling rivalry among the Pevensie children; the talking beavers; those crazy-delicious cupcakes (just checking to see if you were paying attention)—are mostly gone in the sequel. Instead, we get more CGI! More battles! More epic grandeur! In this case, more is less—at least for me. I missed the charm and intimacy of the first work. Some, I suppose, will prefer this version, which plays a bit like Lord of the Rings for tweens.
The tween dream factor is certainly provided by our titular hero. British newcomer Ben Barnes looks so much like a young Keanu Reeves, I half-expected him to mutter, “Whoah. Narnia is totally righteous, dude,” but makes an able bodied (and totally hot) Caspian.
As the film starts, the Pevensie children are back in war-torn England. I’m not sure how much “real world” time is supposed to have...