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  • 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.
Written by Nigel Floyd

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 4 March 2011
  • Duration:121 mins

Cast and crew

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