, Movie News Reviews and More!



































The Chronicals of Narnia-
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Reviewer: Ricardo Barberini
Director: Michael Apted
Cast: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes, Will Poulter, Gary Sweet, Terry Norris, Bruce Spence

The third in the Narnia series.  It is war time London, Lucy and Edmund Pevensie (Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes), who are in their mid-teens, are staying with their uncle and their super despicable cousin Eustace (Will Poulter.)

This time, Narnia is threatened by an invisible force that abducts and enslaves people.  Seven lords of Narnia have been sent to find the source of evil and have all disappeared. Lucy, Edmund and their obnoxious cousin are summoned by Aslan the Lion back to Narnia.  It is up to them and Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) to find the root of the problem and eradicate the malicious force.   

They sail in the magnificent ship “Dawn Treader” to the remote islands of Narnia to find the seven swords that have to be presented at Aslan's table to save Narnia and all the inhabitants.

Unfortunately, the doubting cousin Eustace, who has been transported along with them to the magical kingdom, plays interference at every turn and makes their quest even more perilous and difficult.

C.S. Lewis wrote the Narnia series after World War II.  There are seven novels in the series and we are number 3 in this movie; with 4 more to go.  C.S. Lewis was already in his fifties when he wrote the first of the Narnia stories (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.)  It is amazing that this series of children books became so popular with adults as well.  It is also interesting to note that C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Ring stories) were about the same age and were friends.

When it comes to fantasy movies, it is the story, the publicity and the special effects that either sell or fail the movie.  The direction and acting are usually of ancillary value.  As an example, the original Star War movie was made on a shoestring budget but the story captured the imagination and the special effects were, for their time (1977) pretty amazing. The three principal actors (Harrison, Fisher and Hamill) didn't do anything worthwhile in the Star War movies and two of them never made any real movies afterwards.  By contrast the last three of the series were high on publicity and special effects and high priced actors but low on the story side and even though they made tons of money, they had no artistic value.

As the Narnia stories go, the first movie (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) was the freshest and best made.  It did not have the darkness of the Lord of the Ring stories and yet it was full of color and magic.

Even though Ben Barnes as Prince Caspian has matured since his first Narnia movie, he still is not what I would call a real actor. He does not convey any feeling to his part.  Edmund and Lucy are played as they should be, i.e. vulnerable teenagers. Maybe, the real star of the movie is the computerized character of Reepicheep, the super rat, with the voice over by Simon Pegg.

The cinematography and the color splash was great, maybe a little on the high side.  The colors could have been subdued somewhat.   The script stayed as close as is possible, in a movie, to the original story.  Michael Apted who directed this movie goes way back to the 80's when he directed the “Coal Miner's Daughter.”   In many ways, he is more professional than Andrew Adamson who was the director of the first two Narnia series.  However, the script is not really exciting.

I give this movie 2 ½ stars and would recommend it for the entire family.