Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.

Fast-Paised review: ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’

Big question: Books that embody childhood wonderment speak to the kid in each of us. But can Andrew Adamson's adaptation of the land behind coats capture the magic we remember from the original C.S. Lewis story?

Catch it: As the four Pevensie siblings wander into a world of talking beavers, centaurs, lion kings and ice witches (Tilda Swinton), Adamson creates a slick environment full of imagination. Once the tale stands on its hind legs--be they human, faun or both--and starts running, it rarely lets up.

Skip it if: You prefer your religious references a bit more discreet. "Narnia" is creepy in its not-so-subtle, lion-as-martyr nods to Jesus.

Bottom line: While visually splendid from the start, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" does little to define the priorities of good and evil beyond a smile or scowl. The CGI never matches the actors and the children never feel like heroes, but there's something giddily entertaining about watching married beavers bickering--without the usual Disney attempt at cuteness.

Bonus: Arriving to battle in a polar bear-drawn carriage to assist an army led by a yak. Add this to your list of things to do. (Side note: If you want to show everyone what a tough guy you've become, don't ride a unicorn into combat.)

mpais@tribune.com

----

"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe"

Directed by Andrew Adamson; screenplay by Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, based on the book by C.S. Lewis; cinematography by Donald M. McAlpine; production design by Roger Ford; music by Harry Gregson-Williams; edited by Sim Evan-Jones and Jim May; produced by Mark Johnson and Philip Steuer. A Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media release; opens 12:01 or 11:59 Thursday, depending on the theater a.m. Friday. Thursday. Running time: 2:20. MPAA rating: PG (for battle sequences and frightening moments)

Lucy - Georgie Henley

Edmund - Skandar Keynes

Peter - William Moseley

Susan - Anna Popplewell

White Witch - Tilda Swinton

Mr. Tumnus - James McAvoy

Professor Kirke - Jim Broadbent

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Comments
Loading