The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
After viewing every trailer, movie still and clip for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe I had expected something excellent and amazing. However, while exiting the theatre I could only think that Chronicles is a damn good movie, but the terms amazing and excellent was just slightly out of Andrew Adamsonís (director) grasp.
Chronicles of Narnia Movie Review
The Chronicles of Narnia is an incredible first step for director Andrew Adamson, who before now only had the Shrek animations under his arm. Though I say this film could have been simply excellent, you have to throw the first-time-live-action director some love as the flaws, though minor, were not exactly Adamsonís doing. Through exaggeration and imagination Adamson has delivered a relatively short novel in a two-hour-plus epic that features a well founded cast, tons of special effects, multiple character arcs and a very impressive final battle. If CS Lewis were alive today, I am sure he couldnít have expected a better adaptation.
That being said, let me remind you that The Chronicles of Narnia is a family film that can capture an audience of all ages. The jokes are youthful, the battles, though intense, are blood-free and the story carries a lighter tone even in the most suspenseful of scenes. If you are one of those hoping for the gory battles from Lord of the Rings and see Narnia as a chance to get back to war-- think again.
When it comes to the flaws of Narnia, they were few and far between. One of the biggest issues that may hang over some moviegoers heads (an issue that may prevent the film from becoming excellent) is the PG rating. However, you cannot blame anyone for this as the film already pushes the limits of the book itself. Instead of a battle suggested by CS Lewis, Adamson delivers a full out charge that shows thousands of characters getting slain on the battlefield. By the way, even without the blood and the extended running time, the final battle scene in Narnia is pretty damn cool.
The Chronicles of Narnia
The only flaw one can blame directly on Adamson and crew is that the special effects are somewhat mismatched. There are parts during Narnia where the greenscreen and CGI effects look top notch and then there are other parts where you can tell the children are standing in front of a greenscreen. The wolves, or should I say secret police, looked OK but not nearly as good as Aslan who, thankfully, looks simply incredible and uber-realistic.
Besides a couple of the special effects, everything else in Chronicles of Narnia was spot on. The cast was nothing short of excellent, with Lucy Pevensie (Georgie Henley) and Mr. Tumnus (James McAvoy) stealing the spotlight every time they appeared on screen. The other three Pevensie children-- Edmund (Skandar Keynes), Peter (William Moseley) and Susan (Anna Popplewell) -- were also great and showed acting skills that were far beyond par.
Adamson begins The Chronicles of Narnia with a high production value and ends the same way. In a move I do not necessarily remember from the book, Adamson offers an ending to Narnia that wraps the film up perfectly. If you have ever read Inside Narnia by Devin Brown, a book that takes an extremely close look at The Chronicles of Narnia, you would know that time spent in the wardrobe goes by at a much faster pace than in the real world. On Lucy Pevensieís first visit to Narnia, a visit that lasted hours, she returns home to find that only a second or two had gone by in the real world (if that). According to Brown, The Professor (played wonderfully by Jim Broadbent) also knows of the existence of Narnia and has visited it himself. Adamson plays on all of this knowledge and finishes Narnia with a conclusion to the film that is, if only for an instant, excellent.