Review: Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia:The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the film adaptation of C.S. Lewis novel of the same name, is an attempt to take a classic book (and we're all sure that Disney is intending to take the whole series) and turn it into a film franchise.

I've heard it stated that Lewis didn't want the book turned into a film because the technology of filmmaking wasn't sufficient to take his anthropomorphic animal characters and do justice to them. Well, the technology now exists to render the animals in a lifelike way, but that's about the only thing that this film proved.

Although the books are recognized classics with a strong Christian undertone, I can't say that I felt the same of the film. In short, I wouldn't suggest that people go see it, if for no other reason than to reduce the gross in hopes that we don't get another installment in the coming years (fat chance, since it's already at over US$225M and had a budget of "only" US$180M). More importantly, there are better films to see.

The acting in the film was unremarkable, and because of the timeline used, the characterizations were extremely weak. The effects certainly were good, especially the animal characters, but the now-familiar fantasy battle scenes are becoming so formulaic that they hardly even register any more... yes, we see lots of pretty computer-generated characters marching in near lock-step and acting as if they have individual brains.

Unfortunately, what the film misses is any way to make you actually care about the characters in it. By the end of the film, I couldn't care less about the children, how they were going to survive, or if the critters were going to be saved from endless winter and never Christmas.