A 14th century Crusader returns to a homeland devastated by the Black Plague. A beleaguered church, deeming sorcery the culprit of the plague, commands the two knights to transport an accused witch to a remote abbey, where monks will perform a ritual in hopes of ending the pestilence. A priest, a grieving knight, a disgraced itinerant and a headstrong youth who can only dream of becoming a knight join a mission troubled by mythically hostile wilderness and fierce contention over the fate of the girl. When the embattled party arrives at the abbey, a horrific discovery jeopardises the knight's pledge to ensure the girl fair treatment, and pits them against an inexplicably powerful and destructive force. Written by
Wormwood, the name of the forest where blood is shed in the main characters' journey, is also the name of a destructive entity found in the Bible. This entity, described as a star, is called Wormwood (from a Greek word also translated as Bitterness) and appears to cause a plague-like (or poisoning) effect. From the Book of Revelation 8:10-11 we read "The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water--the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter." See more »
The Crusades were the 11th, 12th and 13th century religious military campaigns; so a bit before the 1330's dates at the start of the movie. For example, the Siege of Tripoli lasted from 1102 until July 12, 1109. Similarly, the Battle of Artah was fought in 1105.
But - the plague referred to in the movie is probably the one in the Early Modern period (1340-1400) where Europe experienced the worst human disaster in its history when the Black Death (also known as the bubonic plague) hit was later. So I guess some artistic freedom was used to place two Crusaders in a time of Plague and Witch-hunting (the witch trials were also in the Early Modern period in a period between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries). See more »
"If you don't have anything nice to say ..." Is this an adequate review?
An embarrassingly bad, schlocky swords and sorcery movie starring Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas, National Treasure, Adaptation) as a heroic crusader tasked with transporting a witch to a remote monastery in central Europe during the time of the Black Death. Accompanied by his fellow crusader (Ron Perlman -- Hellboy I and II, City of Lost Children) and a young priest (Stephen Campbell Moore -- Bright Young Things, Amazing Grace), the "witch" soon proves to be not-what-she seems and before anybody knows it -- all hell breaks loose.
This is a film that is rather stupid when it begins ... and it becomes a bit stupider and than more stupider and even more stoopiderer as it goes along (I groan each time I type that).
It could be entertaining enough for others but I just had too many problems with dialogue (references to things not in existence in the Dark Ages) and bad jokes and Nicolas Cage's irritating performance (this guy is an Oscar-winner and he can be excellent; but these paycheck films always elicit terrible performances out of him).
There is enough action and some special effects that could impress ... but by the plot's "big reveal" (not really so big) I'd had enough. Seriously ... now I will heed that advice I have been told so many times before. I don't have anything nice to say so ...
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