Now That's a Walk in Wardrobe
With their home in the city suffering during the blitz siblings Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and Lucy (Georgie Henley) are evacuated from the city and sent to live in the home of Professor Kirke (Jim Broadbent) and his housekeeper Mrs. Macready (Elizabeth Hawthorne). It is their that young Lucy discovers a solitary wardrobe in an upstairs room which leads her into the magical world of Narnia where after meeting Mr. Tumnus (James McAvoy), a faun, she learns that it has been Winter for 100 years thanks to a spell from the White Witch (Tilda Swinton). When Lucy returns back through the wardrobe no one believes her. Later on when they need some where to hide from Mrs. Macready they climb in the wardrobe and after all four of them end up in Narnia. But whilst there Edmund is tricked by the White Witch and ends up imprisoned by her. It leaves Lucy, Peter and Susan to try and save him with a couple of beavers who take them to meet Aslan the lion.
Watching movies has given me a super power, the power of foresight as far too often I can tell if a movie will entertain me before I have sat down to watch or read a review. Of course I am joking but before I sat down to watch "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" I already knew that I would find it a struggle to keep watching for the same reason I struggled with the "Lord of the Ring" movies. The reason why is because I never read the stories when I was a child and these recent adaptations for me target those who already know the stories and so have that nostalgic warmth of revisiting something they loved as children or are young enough to enjoy the movies like children once enjoyed reading the books.
As such right from the word go I found it had work to become really involved in the drama of these children ending up in Narnia and having to save their brother because due to the prophecy the White Witch fears them. I would imagine that if I had read this adventure as a child it would have fed my imagination and likewise if I had watched "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" as a young child it would have fed my imagination as well. But as a forty something it just didn't grip me.
There is also a not so small matter of the special effects and it has to be said that "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is a bit curious because it is visually impressive but at the same time often looks false. I am not sure whether the roughness of some of the special effects was intentional or not but it didn't sit quite right with me. It is the same with the casting and in particular the choice of Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan as whilst Neeson's voice has a certain air of gravitas it lacks the boom of authority which the likes of James Earl Jones and Brian Blessed possess with their voices which is what this character feels like it needs..
What this all boils down to is that "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is a good movie and I imagine for the young and those who read the Narnia books as children it will be very entertaining. But for an adult entering the world of Narnia for the first time it is only another adventure movie using lots of CGI.