In-Flight Movie Reviews: Narnia


First impressions are that someone saw how WETA made all the equipment and a lot of the special effects for the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and thought that they could do a good job on Narnia. And they do, but only sort of.

The real problem is that all of the scenes which really showcase the special effects look exactly like scenes from the Return of The King. The final battle looks like a replay of the Battle of Pelennor Fields with some different skins on the Orcs and the Gondorians/Rohirrim. Tracking with the line of charge: check. Vertiginious diving shots with the flying beasties: check. Half the bloody Weta crew dressed up as goblins making swords: check. Glorious New Zealand countryside as mythological land: check.

The sense of the movie being a historical re-enactment which was very strong in Lord of The Rings fails here and I think it's to do with the shorter shoot. In the Lord of the Rings movies, the principal actors were shooting every day for almost two years. There's a tremendous bond there, which I think is obvious.

Also, most of the weapons used were what's called the 'Hero Swords', i.e., real swords made by Weta. There's a visible difference in the body language of someone wielding a real longsword and a lightweight replica and it shows on screen. Almost every time you see Viggo Mortensen wielding a sword it's a real one, and you can see the effort it takes to swing it and hold it. Swords are basically a heavy lump of metal and wielding one requires strength and exertion. Compare that with "Peter's" lightly holding a hand-and-a-half-sword high with one hand with no apparent effort. It just doesn't seem like a real sword.

Now I could have a go at the ludicruously heavy handed Christian imagery, but that's just shooting fish in a barrel where a CS Lewis book is concerned. It's a fundamental part of the source material. If you think The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is heavy handed, go read The Last Battle, or one of his "Out of the Silent Planet" books. They're so heavy handed that, even if you're sympathetic to his message, you'll find it a bit too much.

Final Verdict: Watchable, but feels very derivative.

About Me


  • Unsolicited Bulk Email (spam), commercial solicitations, SEO related items, link exchange requests, and abuse are not welcome here and will result in complaints to your ISP.
  • Any email to the above address may be made public at the sole discretion of the recipient.

Other Stuff

  • Powered by Linux
  • (RedHat Linux)


Monthly Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by dave published on April 10, 2006 9:00 AM.

In-Flight movie reviews: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the previous entry in this blog.

Brain Transplant Part II is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.