7/10
One down, six to go. Hopefully.
2 January 2006
While "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (now there's a mouthful) is in no way a bad movie, it still falls short of its own aspirations. And quite possibly Walt Disney and Walden's; though there's no proof, it's difficult not to think this is the opening salvo of their me-too response to certain other movie series (we all know which ones, so I won't name them). Especially since Peter Jackson's movie(s) seem very much like an organic product; this seems more like an assembly line, though still very far away from a failure.

Giving the roles of the Pevensie children to four stronger actors would have helped, though director Andrew Adamson has to share the blame; it's not always that stirring, and the story loses itself towards the end (and unlike, say, "King Kong" or any of the entries in Jackson's trilogy, it doesn't wear its length that well - although ironically this clocks in at a comparatively economical 140 minutes). Perhaps he's not quite as used to dealing with live actors as with animated characters like Shrek. (Although some of the CGI is suspect, meaning Aslan. If only he'd been assigned to Industrial Light & Magic instead of Rhythm & Hues.)

Then again, Adamson does get excellent performances from Tilda Swinton as the White Witch and James McEvoy as Mr. Tumnus, and the stodgy beginning and slightly fizzled finale is made up for by just about everything from the point Lucy discovers Narnia; Harry Gregson-Williams' score and the voice work helps, although having Alanis Morrisette and Tim Finn warbling over the credits doesn't. I'll be back for the second movie (it's surely not going to perform badly enough to rule out the next one) but ultimately Bill Melendez's TV cartoon version from the '70s is better.

And yes, I did get the Christian allegories, but it didn't bother me. We don't all have a thing against religion here, you know. :)
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

Recently Viewed