(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. The piece of the first film's score, "The Battle" by Harry Gregson-Williams, again serves as the background music)
Doug (vo): So how’s this for a dummy moment? When I was a kid, I thought there was only one Narnia book: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I had no idea there were all these sequels that it had. The reason I say this is to point out quite clearly that I never read the book to the sequel, Narnia: Prince Caspian. And I hear that the people that did really don’t like the second one, and even some people who didn’t don’t really like the second one either. But, I’ll be honest, I don’t get it. In my opinion, this is just as good, if not better than the first one.
Doug (vo): It has a much more heavy and dark tone as the kids return to Narnia to find that it’s years later. All the characters they knew are gone, and now this new dictatorship has taken over and everything is in ruin. So the kids have to find their way to get an army and win it back.
Doug (vo): What I like about this film is that it seems like there’s a lot more strategy and a lot more talking about politics, but in a good way. It felt to me like Game of Thrones. [A shot of the dwarf Trumpkin is shown] Hell, Peter Dinklage is frigging in it, and he does fantastic as usual. But I think there’s more than that. There’s a lot of talk about faith in this movie. You don’t see much of Aslan in it, but it’s very selectively done. He appears in moments that tie in to the characters’ belief, and I think that makes a lot of sense. There’s also a lot about temptation in the movie. Peter has gotten too cocky and is afraid that he’s lost his way. So, the ghost of an evil past comes in to try and tempt him, sort of devilish, if you will. I heard this wasn’t in the original book, but I think it’s great.
[The film's action sequences are shown]
Doug (vo): The battles seem much larger, too. They seem more gritty and harsh and adult. It’s not just characters being turned to stone. You see them die, you see them get stabbed. It’s pretty intense. But maybe that’s what a lot of people didn’t like about it. There’s not as many fantasy characters in this. They moreso sort of show up in the end, and even then, not that many.
[A clip of Peter is shown, as well as a clip of the film's villain, King Miraz]
Doug (vo): I like the fact that Peter was given more of an arc in this one, because I felt it was desperately missing in the first one. The bad guy is great. He definitely has his villainous moments, but you also see he’s still human. He’s trying to do what’s best for his family line, and will do absolutely anything to make it happen.
[Clips focusing on the final battle are shown]
Doug (vo): Once again, the ending does sort of come around to a deus ex machina kind of like the first film, and maybe that threw a lot of people off, too, like, "Hey, didn’t we get that in the first film? Why are we seeing this again?" Granted, it’s not the exact same one, but it is something that you didn’t know existed suddenly comes out and saves the day. But I didn’t mind, because I was totally in the battle the whole time. I was rooting for the heroes, I wanted to see them save the day, and I thought the action scenes were really good and really intense.
Doug (vo): I guess, for me, I was ready for something a little darker and a little harsher, but maybe that’s not what others were looking for, and maybe they did want it to follow the book closer. Like I said, I haven’t read it, so maybe they’re right. Maybe the book did do it better. But as a straightforward sequel, I think it’s pretty effective. Check it out and draw your own conclusions.
[The climactic scene of the final battle, showing the river god appearing and defeating the villains, is shown]