Growing up in the Canada in the 70's and 80's, I fondly recall vastly enjoying an animated version of Lewis' 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' that was presented by Kraft on CTV. Now as a father of a son, I want to see with him the contemporary versions of the books I adored in my youth, though at present I greatly prefer the craftsmanship of cinema pre-1970. It never bothers me in the slightest, to the ire of my more obsessive-compulsive cinephilic friends, seeing films of series with complete disregard to their order (one of my friends nearly had a heart attack, when he discovered I had watched 'Spider-Man 3' without having previously watched films 1 and 2--don't even get me started about the 'Harry Potter' series...), so, especially curious about how one of my favourite contemporary directors, Michael Apted, would do in the realm of big-budget, CGI-intensive fantasy filmmaking (I expected a fish-out-of-water, like Lord Richard Attenborough helming 'A Chorus Line'), I gave this a shot. I enjoyed this more than 'Harry Potter' films I have seen, though it does stretch things from the literary works, but unfortunately, that seems to be the way things are, since film became less about artistry and more about business (just see at Toys R Us how many possible toys you can purchase, and similar commercial off-shoots, and I don't even consider this series a major player in this sort of area, because of its Christian undertones, which really doesn't mesh perfectly with selling tons of toys, though of course the realms aren't mutually exclusive, not by any stretch of the imagination). I think that Apted did a decent job, especially considering that yes, he is a fine director, but this isn't really his cup of tea. I distinctly feel that if these films are your comfort food, you won't be disappointed. I look forward to checking out the series' two preceding entries, and, though they left an opportunity for more films, which I believe wouldn't be from Lewis' works at all, it was a nice summation at its conclusion. Finally, it was great to see (or at the very least, hear) Tilda Swinton, Liam Neeson and Simon Pegg, they seem to be thrown in everything these days. I heartily salute their agents--they must have the very best in the business.
Fox 2000 Pictures
1 hr 53 mins
$ 155,000,000.00 (Estimated)
$ 415,686,217.00 (USA)
$ 260,686,217.00 (Estimated in USA)