I'm struggling with finding a witty take on this film. I was going to talk about how much darker it is than its predecessor (it is), how much better it is than Harry Potter (it definitely is), how it is still for children not adults (even if you loved the books as a youngster) or how the Christian anologies are not easy enough to ignore (annoyingly so). But instead I think I'm just going to go for a simple this was good, this was bad review.
So the plot. We open with Prince Caspain (Ben Barnes) running for his life as his dastardly uncle weants to kill him and take the throne for himself. Meanwhile the Pevensie kids are settling back in to life in London despite being 1300 years old. Being thirteen centuries older than most people in your class is probably as sucky as swapping a land of lovely horses and dwarves for air raids and London Vaudeville. No fear though because Prince Capsian needs a hand sorting out the 'savage' Narnia. So Lucy, Susan, Peter and Edward get another chance to dress up and play fighting, the lucky buggers.
Either 1300 years have made the children of the first film really likeable or the scriptwriters needed two films to get them onside. Either way the turnaround is remarkable with each one being fully fledged (as fully fledged as is possible in a SFX heavy film containing Warwick Davis) and nowhere near as tiresome as the first movie. The other possibility though, is that they just look miles better by standing next to Prince "Twatsack" Caspain, the wettest, most feeble character since Peter Lorre in The Maltese Falcon. His accent is ridiculous, coming across a mixture of 'Welcome to Polaris world' and 'I vant to drink your blooood'.
Speaking of blood harshest line in a kids film of the week goes to "I can drink a river of blood and still not burst". I'm all for switching off the lights on children once in a while but ouch. That scene is gonna wet many a bed. Thankfully there's my favourite little Reepicheep to lighten the mood. A blood thirsty assasin whose killed more men than Courtney Love (I mean via sexually transmitted disease not by fake suicide so don't sue me). Reepicheep is actually a fun little mouse voiced by Eddie Izzard, but he is a killing machine too. And that's the balance that puts Caspain up there with likeminded PG fodder Bridge to Terrabithia and Spiderwick. Bit of a shame then that the ending is the dictionary definition of Deus ex Machina. But kids aren't taught Latin anymore so they won't cotton on.