Who's In It: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes, Will Poulter, Tilda Swinton, Anna Popplewell, William Moseley, and the voices of Liam Neeson, Simon Pegg

The Basics: The older Pevensie siblings are busy with less fantastical pursuits this time around, so it's up to the younger Lucy and Edmund to go adventuring through Narnia with their obnoxious cousin Eustace. They meet up with Caspian, now the King, on his ship The Dawn Treader and they travel from island to island on a quest to rid Narnia of a curse coming from the "Dark Isle." And for the record, all comparisons to Homer's Odyssey with the added features of a can-do talking mouse and a Jesus-figure lion have already been made. And if you haven't seen the last two movies you have to go back to the beginning before buying a ticket to this one or you won't know what they're all going on about.

What's The Deal: Disney should have really held out for this third installment. It's their own fault Prince Caspian was mostly dull anyway. Of course, they might have made this one boring, too, so maybe it's a good thing in the long run that they abandoned ship. Anyway, this is the shortest (just under two hours long) and the fastest-moving of the franchise so far. And that's good news for people who want to like these movies more than they do but can't quite get over how the period details also seem to sometimes dictate a thick, starchy, pudding-like quality to the storytelling. Maybe it's the heavy moral that always seems to be lying in wait. Maybe it's just that these kids aren't as cool and modern or as magical as the Potter tribe. Whatever it is, it's what's probably going to make the difference between a movie that's loved for generations by millions and one that's just going generate millions of dollars of "like well enough" feeling on opening weekend.

Scene-Stealer: Will Poulter, from Son of Rambow, plays the kind of horrible child that you love to hate in movies but would never want to be near in real life, and he goes for it in a completely unselfconscious way that's in contrast to the quickly-growing-up Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes, both of whom have entered that part of adolescence where you second-guess everything you do. It shows here a little too much, but they'll grow out of it.

Comfort Food Elements: I've been taken to task lately by cool people for liking Aslan so much. But I do. I like it when he shows up. I like it when the movie comes to a thudding halt as he Liam Neeson-voices his moralistic wisdom. I like that he's supposed to be Jesus. Because when else do you get the nice gentle Jesus in movies? He's either being brutalized by Mel Gibson or ironically goofed on or used as some sort of twisted exorcism trick everywhere else. This is straight up be-brave-and-good Jesus. What's to dislike? Oh yeah, and SWINTON. She's always perfect, too.

3D or Not 3D: Yet another film slapped into 3D to give a little more box office insurance to a skittish studio. Aside from the annoyance of glasses wrapped around your head, you'll barely be able to count memorable extra-dimensional moments. Save your money and pick a theater where they're screening it the old-fashioned way.

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Comments (9)

Preston - 12-11-2010 9:25 AM
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I saw the film last night, & agree that it was better than "Caspian". I'm glad that though they didn't do everything "by the book", it kept the spirit of what C.S. Lewis intended. Will Poulter was perfectly cast as Eustace, and his relationship with Reepicheep was entertaining. I disagree, in part, with your thoughts on Aslan. I also love when he shows up, exuding good, &wisdom, & majesty, & yes, he is gentle. But he can also act with ferocity when needed. As Mr. Tumnus said at the end of the first film, "He's not a tame lion".

Bob - 12-12-2010 12:23 PM
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It was the wurst yet. it was designed to line their pockets with my money. I think they should be paying us to watch it.

Hamza - 12-13-2010 1:37 PM
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Looks like these movies are getting gradually worse. The first one was great, the second one was dull but still decent, and this one looks far too boring to even try. It seems to focus too heavily on the younger two Pevensie siblings and the deadpan, emotionless Prince Caspian.

loveisthemovement89 - 12-15-2010 10:06 PM
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I thought it was very well done. Stayed true to the book while adding just enough new story (collecting swords, the mist is in the whole story & not just the last island) to make it work better for a film. I enjoyed Prince Caspian, though 1 & 3 surpass it. It's the same with the books though. But I agree about Aslan. It's always a high point when he shows up. Too true about the portrayal of Jesus, it's nice to see that side. As a big fan of the books & as a Christian, personally I loved that the line about their purpose in Narnia was in the film. That they know Aslan better, to know Jesus better in their world. Awesome concept that Lewis came up with, & since it's the very purpose the kids come to Narnia, it was great to see it in the film

Hannah Graves - 12-24-2010 12:26 AM
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I saw that movie tonight and i was very disappointed.... the first one was way better...... i could barely even notice that the movie was in 3D other then when i took the glasses off---- I think they could have included Susan and peter a little bit more because they were a big part of the Narnia series. I could have saved my money completely and not saw it.

Dilia Reyes-Hill - 1-01-2011 11:08 AM
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I love it. Great movie just like Narnia 1 and 2. I wll buy it when comes out in DVD

Franklin - 1-09-2011 1:31 AM
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I think you have to want to like Lewis' fiction going in. I do, as it happens. But the thing I most liked was the ship -- it was gorgeous from the first sighting to the last. As soon as I saw it, I said, "Yes! That's the ship I dreamed of voyaging in when I was a kid, except this is even better!"

matt - 1-12-2011 1:01 PM
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this movie rocks

Chloe - 7-24-2012 10:36 PM
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I HATED Eustace. He was such a whiny little twerp throuought the whole thing. But he only appeared in half the movie and in the last 10 minutes. Then, Happy the dragon came along while he was gone, and i wasn't annoyed by that too. But I LOVED the sister-like relationship between Lucy and Gael. They remind me of Katniss and Prim from "The Hunger Games". They're just a pair you'll feel really touched by.

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