A ruthless mercenary renounces violence after learning his soul is bound for hell. When a young girl is kidnapped and her family slain by a sorcerer's murderous cult, he is forced to fight and seek his redemption slaying evil.
Michael J. Bassett
Max von Sydow,
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 »
I walked out of the theater so thrilled to have spent my money on a Nicholas Cage movie. Its not often that happens.
I heard from a unenthusiastic review (one of numerous scathing reviews out there, as anyone with the internet can tell) about the on screen shenanigans with Nick Cage and Ron Perlman were so enjoyable that it made the rest of the movie bearable. Going in with that anticipation, I found myself not only pulled into their characters' fun and convincing friendship but also into an intense and yes even edge-of-your-seat suspenseful movie. I forgot about my troubles for the day and enjoyed a good adventure.
It was inspired, yes, by DnD, video games, and a number of other swords and sorcery books and movies that preceded it, but it is its own story. In a market saturated with sequels, prequels, reboots, comicbook diarrhea, etc... it's nice to see a story that is it's own, however simple.
Yes it plays by the numbers. You know guys will die. Hell, you probably know who and in what order, if you've seen movies of it's ilk. You know there is a supernatural bad guy. And you know there will be one liners, oh are there ever one-liners! But the characters are fun to watch, even a little engaging. You may not want to see them die. I didn't. They weren't a group of scum with a bullseye for heraldry. The enemy was threatening and tricky, a real danger to our protagonists. And the one liners were, gasp, funny! Yes, even Nicholas Cage is worth the price of admission here. If this was "just another paycheck" role for him, he looked like he was having a lot of fun with this roll. And I don't know about you, but I like to see my actors have fun in a movie that costs me 9-12 bucks to see..
It looses some points with me for the CGI. obvious CGI is obvious. But honestly the crispy gray CGI contrasting against a darker, colorful, moody lighting STILL didn't detract from the encounters or the climax. If you come to the movies to have CGI convince you that magic and demons are real, you come to the movies for jaded and asinine reasons. If you wanna see pretty visuals with a meandering pointless story, go see Tron.
But if you wanna see a fun yet dark heroic adventure, go see Season of the Witch!
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