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 rebels' momentous struggle for justice and freedom.
Marshal owns and uses two types of swords. This was true of at least some Templars. One was the "arming sword", the classic knightly single-handed sword worn (as shown) slung from the belt. The other was the much larger "great sword of war" wielded two-handed, and usually carried strapped to the saddle. Modern tests on pig carcasses (which are similar to human bodies in make-up) have shown that a great sword could indeed, as depicted in this movie, cut a person almost in half with a single blow. See more »
Several stuntmen in the movie are Hungarian, as obvious from the things they shout in the heat of fighting / in Hungarian, in the otherwise Hindi movie. See more »
Firstly I am quite realistic about my expectations when a historical movie is made. Real history does not generally run smoothly nor is it engaging enough to fit conveniently into a 2 hour movie, so I refuse to nick-pick a screen writer for adding a little poetic license into a script or for the costume designer who doesn't have the time or resources to get the actors "just right".
With this in mind, I found the story enjoyable and it ran more or less historically and at a good pace, I was certainly never given enough pause to consider boredom. The fight scenes were very good and I agree with other criticisms on the reviews about the shaking camera making it extremely hard to concentrate on what was happening.
There was plenty of blood, limbs and sliced heads to appeal to the gore fest/action fans but it seemed to accurately reflect the face of medieval warfare with its close and gruesome nature.
The cast were a list of well known and respected actors, all of whom put in a good display with what they were given with Paul Giamatti's rant about the divinity of Kings being especially engaging.
Overall its not a classic nor will it win awards, but for a couple of hours action based escapism it is certainly worth the effort of watching and is far superior to a number of bigger budget Hollywood contemporaries.
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