FOLLOWING on from the phenomenal success of the first instalment of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Disney has decided to milk the franchise for all it's worth.

Twelve months have passed since the Pevensie siblings - Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and Lucy (Georgie Henley) - ventured into Narnia.

Unexpectedly, they are propelled back into the magical land after Susan's magic horn is used. On arrival they discover hundreds of years have passed, and Narnia is under the rule of the ruthless King Miraz (Sergio Castellito), who is uncle to the rightful heir, Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes).

Exiled from his kingdom, Caspian takes refuge with the Narnians, who agree to help him, along with the Pevensie siblings in taking the throne.

It seems a simple enough basis, but the film attempts to take you on a journey that you wish you hadn't started.

The chemistry between the Pevensie clan and Caspain is non-existent (even the supposed love interest between Caspain and Susan is lukewarm). The part of Edmund is so severely underwritten, it's comical. It appears he's only present because the CS Lewis story dictates he is.

Director Andrew Adamson has proven he can work wonders on the animated circuit, having worked his magic on the Shrek trilogy. And his initial effort, The

Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a triumph in stunning visuals, and Prince Caspian continues with the impressive aesthetics, but in terms of duration, Adamson unfortunately seems to believe that panning out the story over an incredibly tedious time frame equates to the desired cinematic effect. Well[2026] it doesn't. All of the best moments from the film, including some amazing battle scenes, lose their impact as the narrative meanders through a monotonous path of unnecessary deviations.

The character of Reepicheep, a valiant mouse helping Prince Caspian, voiced by Eddie Izzard, is a carbon copy of Puss in Boots from Shrek 2. Although he pops up sparingly for one-liners, his presence becomes demeaning as Adamson has effectively plagiarized himself.

The absence of Aslan becomes increasingly annoying, as Lucy continues to hark on after seeing him in the woods. His cameo appearance with words of wisdom satisfies Lucy, but with her constant 'Where's Aslan?' questioning, it's not long before you want to shout back 'We don't know, stop asking'.

Although aimed at children, at a whopping 2 hours 20 minutes, most adults would find this a difficult feature to sit through. There are some incredible CGI effects, but segments become hybrids of so many movies including 300, Willow and even Braveheart.

With the UK's biggest ever premiere taking place this week for the film at the O2 Arena, there will be an inevitable buzz around this sequel. But, like most sequels, this ultimately fails to capture the wonderment of the first offering.

 5/10