The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Movie Review

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 family fantasy film directed by Andrew Adamson and starring Tilda Swinton and Liam Neeson among others. It is such a great, underrated adaptation.

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Do not cite the Deep Magic to me, witch.

I was there when it was written

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Let’s first compare it to the book. To me, it is inferior to it, but not by much. It is one of the best examples of how to properly adapt a novel as it makes it more epic and longer, but the plot is pretty much the same. In fact, it is extremely faithful and I just loved that as a big fan of the book.

I loved how it starts with the foursome fleeing from the war. That wasn’t in the novel, but was a nice addition here. Everything about the house and the wardrobe itself was excellent and so well realized. Narnia looks great, but more on that later. What I loved about the film is its action and how it fixed the problem of the novel successfully which is a lack of action and rushed pacing.

Aslan’s death scene is just fantastic and it was executed just as I had imagined it from the book, so good. The war scenes were a bit too extended, but still really well executed with excellent fights. The fight between Jadis and Peter is so good and memorable. The ending is just superb and I loved how it was a fun, charming conclusion with the professor being wonderful.

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe benefits from some excellent character development. In my opinion, the movie’s versions of Peter and Susan are better than the novel’s. However, I still really disliked Peter and his insufferable heroism. And Susan had her moments, especially with Lucy, but is still forgettable. Edmund is excellent as in the book and Lucy is so likable and the highlight of the four.

Mr. Tumnus is nowhere near as charming as in the original, but was still solid. The beavers are quite good, the wolves are exceptionally well utilized, the professor is, as I said, wonderful and all of Narnia’s creatures looked great and some were even given some big things to do which I liked. The White Witch is fantastic and just menacing as in the book. And Aslan I just loved and he was beautifully adapted to the big screen.

I really like James McAvoy, but he wasn’t a good choice for the role of Mr. Tumnus. As for the children, I have to say that they aren’t the greatest. The elder two in particular gave quite mediocre performances and they had no charisma whatsoever. Georgie Henley is much better. Tilda Swinton is one of the standouts. The casting for her was spot on and he delivered both in action and in her line delivery. And Liam Neeson’s role is almost perfect for Aslan as it is so powerful, yet heartwarming which is exactly how the character should sound.

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a visually impressive movie. I found its special effects beyond great as they really stood the test of time, much more so than many of its contemporaries. Aslan looks amazing, Jadis too and every creature is phenomenally well depicted due to some excellent designs. The world building is amazing and I loved how epic the film felt.

The direction and the cinematography are both superb and the action is one of the highlights. All of the fights here are so well executed and incredibly entertaining to watch. That was the book’s major problem and the movie fixed it and that is so commendable and every film adaptation should do that.

As for the pacing, I did think it was a bit too long and overblown, but I mostly liked that decision as it led to a much more epic in tone movie. The action, war scenes should have been extended and the scene where the children learn how to fight is great and realistic, but some of the earlier parts did drag a bit. That is one of the problems here. The other problem is the acting of the children. But I didn’t find it terrible and child performances shouldn’t really count into a flaw as children rarely give great performances.

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The costumes, sets and effects were all great and the score is just terrific. I really loved that heartwarming theme that was repeated a lot, it is such a beautiful composition. I also really liked its heartwarming and sometimes quite moving tone. The film is really emotional at times. the dialogue is solid, although a bit too much repeated from the book. In the end, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is such a good, respectable adaptation of a classic book that I really find its underrated status frustrating.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is sometimes overly extended and the child performances aren’t great, but this is such a wonderfully faithful adaptation filled with absolutely stunning special effects, a great work from Tilda Swinton and Liam Neeson, superbly executed action sequences and a moving and epic feel to it. It is an immensely satisfying adaptation of a classic book and such a frustratingly underrated film.

My Rating – 4.5

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Posted in 2000s, 2005, Family, Fantasy, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , , .

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