This is a much darker film than the first. Much of the wonderment is gone, and in its place is a violent feudal fantasy world. Peter, Lucy, Edmund and Susan have been gone from Narnia for over a thousand years, since then evil men have pushed the creatures of Narnia into hiding.
The heir to the human throne, Prince Caspian, is almost murdered by his villainous uncle on the evening his cousin is born. He is forced into hiding in the magical woods outside the castle, and as a last result summons the kings and queens of Narnia.
So, yeah, it’s a lot darker. The kids’ acting is still pretty stiff. The guy playing the evil king is alright, Warwick Davis gives as good a performance as he ever does, and Tilda Swinton is good for the 30 seconds she’s in this. The action sequences are fairly exciting. You can really tell that movies like The Lord of the Rings and 300 really influenced the work here.
Simply put, the movie is entertaining. The movie’s probably too long and the musical choice at the end was a huge misstep, but what we get here is not bad. You don’t need to see Prince Caspian, but if you do go, I don’t think you’ll regret it.