Film, Action and adventure
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
Action anti-hero James Purefoy’s follow-up to ‘Solomon Kane’ is a medieval siege tale that pits his atrocity-haunted Templar Knight, Marshall, against a maniacal King John (Paul Giamatti, over-acting insanely). Livid about being forced to sign the Magna Carta, granting rights and freedoms to his subjects, the vengeful king is determined to seize back absolute power. Only Rochester Castle stands between his mercenary army and London; it is here that Marshall, the rebellious Baron Albany (Brian Cox), the ambivalent Reginald de Cornhill (Derek Jacobi) and a brave few hold out against all odds. Walls and portcullises are breached; siege towers and fireball-flinging trebuchets are deployed; long swords and axes hack through human flesh. But despite a welter of brutal, blood-drenched action, writer-director Jonathan English’s over-stretched two-hour film – with its pedestrian storytelling, messy fight scenes, ugly digital photography and ropey CGI – long outstays its welcome. One has to admire the spirit of this independent production, which aims for the sweeping spectacle of ‘El Cid’, but it falls way short of its epic ambitions.

By: Nigel Floyd



Release details

Release date:
Friday March 4 2011
121 mins

Cast and crew

Jonathan English
Derek Jacobi
Charles Dance
Jason Flemyng
James Purefoy
Paul Giamatti
Kate Mara
Brian Cox
MacKenzie Crook
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