Sunday, 12 June 2011


"With a soft spot for all things Narnia, the return of this franchise was met with childhood excitement, and following some half decent reviews, I was all set to return to such a magical realm, until they decided to charge me a tenner to watch the damn movie looking like a tit with big black glasses on my head. Instead, I waited for the DVD release, praying Lovefilm would send it quicker than the fleet-footed Reepicheep. I waited, and waited, then waited some more, until finally, they sent me the 1989 version made for television instead - in fairness, it was my error, not theirs.

So, finally, I return to Narnia, where a dragon awakens, where the stars walk the earth, and where King Caspian and some unexpected companions embark on a voyage that will take them beyond all known lands. Bored, having to spend a dreary holiday with their cousin Eustace, Lucy and Edmund are drawn into Narnia when a painting of a ship on the wall comes to life - the three children falling into the ocean to be rescued by the Dawn Treader. Back in this wonderful place, they must find the seven lost swords of Narnia, as Caspian had previously promised to the big fella Aslan, and thus begins an adventure that thankfully ignites the series.

VOTDT may not be the swashbuckling adventure you would envisage,  but it seldom strays from entertaining, with our two leads Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes) overshadowed by a magnificent performance from Will Poulter as the genuinely funny Eustace, desperately trying to be intelligent but somehow always messing up. He even becomes the second cutest dragon in movie history (not quite up there with Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon) in a tremendous twist, and although some of his gags miss the mark, for the most part he's the star of the show. Hell, even Reepicheep (voiced this time round by a barely recognisable Simon Pegg) is good.

Replete with that lovingly familiar, thunderous score, plenty of action, laughs aplenty, and a murky plot that tempts our protagonists with their darkest desires, the only thing missing is meatier appearences from Aslan and the White Witch. And yet, seing as this is an adaptation, you can hardly grumble too much. Still, with director Michael Apted seemingly rescuing the franchise, and with just two books to go, it would be a shame if this was to be the last visit to Narnia, but if it is, at least it's the best of a good bunch."


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