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 man, having fallen in love with the wrong woman, is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled on a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.
It is the year 1215 and the rebel barons of England have forced their despised King John to put his royal seal to the Magna Carta, a noble, seminal document that upheld the rights of free-men. Yet within months of pledging himself to the great charter, the King reneged on his word and assembled a mercenary army on the south coast of England with the intention of bringing the barons and the country back under his tyrannical rule. Barring his way stood the mighty Rochester castle, a place that would become the symbol of the rebel's momentous struggle for justice and freedom. Written by
The opening historical background prologue about Prince John and Magna Carta was added as an afterthought by director English. The narration was spoken by Charles Dance. See more »
The film's final voice-over narration claims that the rebellion against King John was victorious within a year of John's death in 1216, when the exact opposite is true. Royalists fighting on behalf of John's young son, Henry III, defeated the rebellious barons and their French allies in 1217, and Henry went on to rule England for 56 years. Louis, the French prince the film implies succeeded John as king, never held the English throne. See more »
[as he tells a story from his childhood he quotes his own father]
"You see John, any action against the throne must be punished ruthlessly, for that is the only way to maintain the absolute power of a King."
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Ironclad is a fictionalized medieval war movie set in Britain during the second rebellion against King John, brought about by his dismissal of the Magna Carta he was forced to sign in the first rebellion against him and his attempts to punish those who forced him to sign it.
The movie is basically about a Templar and a small group of soldiers who are attempting to hold Rochester Castle, the key to southern England, against the siege of John's superior army and Danish mercenaries. Ironclad is nothing special, but it's entertaining enough. There are a few faces you'll probably recognize among the cast, like Brian Cox, Paul Giamatti, and Kate Mara. I doubt any of the actors or actresses will be up for many awards (though Giamatti, as King John, does get a memorable scene or three), but they do good enough jobs that I had no complaints.
The look of the film is reminiscent of other recent similarly set action movies, like Black Death and Centurion. Very bleak, grey, and violent. Blood splashes all over the place during the frequent battle scenes, limbs are hacked off, and gaping wounds abound. This isn't a movie for the squeamish.
As I mentioned before, Ironclad isn't a huge step forward for this kind of film, but it succeeds well enough at what it attempts to do for me to give it a positive review. See it, if you're interested.
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