I received an email about a week ago that was intriguing and very inviting (a free movie review). Since my 11 year old son read the entire series of the Chronicles of Narnia my wife felt he should be the one in the family rewarded to attend the preview with me as my one guest to invite along. That seemed like a great way to narrow down who goes with dad and the two of us had a great time. I have never really been much of a fiction reader so it was great to have my well read son along to bounce stuff off of. My review is from the eyes of both my 11 year old son and myself so I hope it make sense to read a double review in one.
In general my favorite type of movie is adventure and this flick is thoroughly that from start to finish. We were told that the producers were still open to changes and feedback from pastors was being considered. Time will tell on that one. In general I enjoyed it and never felt any embarrassment with what was said or shown in the film. No foul language, no rude or course jokes, no sexual overtones or insinuations at all. Violence was within reason since there was never bloodshed even though there were plenty of battles along the way in the film.
Two things about the film for I give caution about are the “Sea Serpent” at the end and the “Evil Midst” might be too scary for little ones under 8 years old. My youngest daughter who is 8 would have been hiding her eyes under my arm had she been with me. We saw the movie is 2D and if it had been 3D I think that would be even scarier for little ones.
As my son and I discussed the filmed on the way home he told me that the movie was great, but it was not as good as the book. He said they changed more in this movie than the previous movies as it related to being in line with the book. My least favorite scene was that of entering the invisible house to read from the book on incantations. When it comes to the battle of good and evil at least good truly is triumphal, but the evil and spells associated with the cult seems a bit more than I would prefer. My son seem to indicate that it was in line with the book, but the terms and use of words was more associated with the battle of powers in the book, whereas in the movie is a battle of power against evil and the term “spells” seems to be on the good side as well as the bad side which is was confusing to me while watching the movie.
In one scene the blue star came down from heaven and turned into a beautiful woman who I thought was really portraying satan as an “angel of light” to deceive them. But I was wrong and she was part of the good side of the movie on behalf of the Voyagers.
The spiritual lessons are good, but they are not easily grabbed as being Christian and especially so if you have no history with either the book or movie series. Even some of the comments by Aslan at the end could get misconstrued by viewers to be an endorsement to salvation by other names other than Jesus even though a Christian would perceive he meant Jesus.
As a movie I would say a thumbs up compared to the junk that is usually produced today. As for it being a “Christian Flick” with clear scriptural implications to a post Christian culture I would give it 5 out of 10. For a Christian family with knowledge of the Word of God I would give it 8 out of 10. As far as running along with this movie as a pastor to preach and promote it within the body of Christ I am hesitant and will not do such from the pulpit. I am not much of one to preach a movie and use scripture to support it and that appears to be the perspective from the people from Narniafaith.com website. I continue to preach the Gospel from the bible and when and if I can find a clip from the movie that supports God’s Word I would be glad to use clips from Narnia. It appears to me that the producers want pastors to almost make the movie like a book of the bible to preach from using scriptures. Pre canned sermons are available to help promote the movie from pastors of mega churches. I certainly hope this is not the direction of the church of the future.
I am grateful for the free preview and we will likely watch it again as a family at some point, but my son said they should stick to the book plot and not make so many changes.