I really hated The Lion, the Witch and The Wardobe. I thought it was so boring, just going from talking animal to talking animal hearing more of the backstory. I'm happy to report that Prince Caspian is at least slightly better than the first Narnia.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Review
It opens with some minor action, so it's not boring yet. The disgruntled kids in the real hint that this will be a darker story, and darker = more grown up. Even the slightly aged younger kids add some maturity.
Exploring the ruins of familiar territory is more interesting than the first discovery, and now the kids are already heroes, so they can already demonstrate their archery or swordsmanship.
Meeting some non-nice non-talking animals is intense and the story actually means something this time. There are consequences of leaving and moving on, and changes with growing up. The whole point of the movie is that nothing is ever the same as it was before.
There's also more humor, giving an irreverent perspective that helps sell the fantasy. Characters like Trumpkin (Peter Dinklage) bring gravitas while injecting sarcasm so it can't take itself too seriously.
And there's just so much more action. It's the Two Towers to Fellowship, Azkaban to Sorcerer's Stone. Well, Goblet of Fire at least. It's well shot for PG intensity too. There are stabbings and more battle scars, implied just enough to be clear, and there is something really awesome that happens in the beginning of the finale battle.
There is just enough politics to add complexity to the story. I mean, bad guys killing their own men to blame the Narnians is pretty tough. It's still the B version of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, or I guess the C to those A and B franchises.
The talking badger still looks just like the fake talking beavers, but there are other cool creatures. The adorable fighting mouse is just a live-action Puss in Boots, but it works. The minotaurs are cool and the hot female minotaur babe raises a lot of questions inside me.
So I actually liked Prince Caspian a lot more than Lion, Witch and Wardrobe. I might even keep the Blu Ray when I get it. Let's hope I can continue my streak of condemning movies to failure by liking them.