NARNIA: VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER

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(PG) 115mins

Director: Michael Apted

Starring: Liam Neeson (voice), Simon Pegg (voice), Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes, Will Poulter

OF ALL the Narnia books this was always going to be the most cinematic, giving the production team the chance to show their skills.

Lucy and Edmund Pevensie are drawn back to Narnia and join the crew and Prince Caspian aboard the ship Dawn Treader in search of seven lost noblemen.

On the way they encounter all manner of strange creatures and battle an evil foe that tests their resolve and courage.

The good thing about C.S. Lewis’ books is that they are fairly short so just about every part of the story has been transferred into the film - no chopping out huge hunks as in the Harry Potter series.

Lewis also didn’t bother too much with complex characters so you know who the baddies are and you also know that good will triumph over evil.

The question of whether to include Lewis’ religious references is thankfully met head-on, remaining true to the spirit of the books.

The 3D is pretty good but won’t be missed in DVD form (no missiles flying towards the audience).

The young cast are superb and Poulter as the Pevensie’s cousin Eustace Scrubb will appear later in the series. Pegg takes over the voice of Reepicheep from Eddie Izzard and is also excellent.

The Narnia Chronicles very nearly stalled after Prince Caspian was released as the franchise was dropped by Disney but was luckily picked up by 20th Century Fox. Hopefully, we will see the whole saga which for me is far more interesting than Harry and the gang.

five out of five stars

Steve Payne