Thursday, August 13, 2015

In short: The Four Warriors (2015)

You’ll probably need to share my general love of medieval pulp action (this time around even with the sorcery to make it pseudo-historical sword and sorcery, instead of sword and sorcery without the latter!) to get much enjoyment out of Phil Hawkins’s film about three crusaders and their Saracen prisoner stumbling about a village whose whole male and juvenile population has been kidnapped, perhaps by something much worse than slavers, particularly once it turns into a pretty basic Dungeons and Dragons scenario. There are a myriad problems: there are continuity mistakes even I see, the plot is clichéd and presented in the least interesting manner, the acting is often awkward (well, script writer and male lead Christopher Dane and female lead Alex Childs are certainly decent), the dialogue heavy-handed yet utterly improbable for the time period, the demon costumes mostly ridiculous, and the whole thing slows down to a crawl somewhere around its middle. There’s also a lot of basic conceptual stuff that just doesn’t work at all, but I don’t think there’s any need to go that deep for this one.

Still, I did enjoy myself enough for the ninety minutes of The Four Warriors running time. There are people with swords in armour, mediocre fights happen, lame synthesizer music plays, and Evil is conquered by the power of believing in not being Evil (or something), while, from time to time, Hawkins manages an effective or even a pretty shot. Plus, the film does take itself seriously in a way that makes it unkind, perhaps even cruel, to criticize it too heavily, for it is quite clear that this is the best the people involved could do in the time and place, and with the tiny amount of money they had at their disposition. It doesn’t work out very well, but you sure as hell can’t say The Four Warriors isn’t at least trying very hard, which, let’s be honest, is quite a bit more than you could say about your typical Michael Bay movie.

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