Friday, 3 June 2016
The Crown and the Dragon (2013)
This is a film from Arrowstorm Entertainment; the people who made the Mythica films I've previously reviewed. It's an earlier effort, and it serves as a good illustration of the progress they've made in a short period of time.
Which is not to say it's a bad movie. But it's a couple of notches below the Mythica films in most technical respects - effects, music, acting and so on - and several notches below them in terms of script. The writing here is significantly weaker: the characters are less developed, the pacing flags at times, there are moments that are clearly meant to be big dramatic events that don't quite come off, and oh my word there is a lot of male gaze. No actual bosoms or buttocks are shown, but the lead female character spends an awful lot of time scantily clad, or wrapped in only a blanket, and there's a longish bathing scene. Every single opportunity is taken to linger over her bare back, arms or legs.
The basic premise is that a foreign empire, aided by a dragon, has conquered the kingdom. A spoilt young noblewoman from the subjugated land must get an ancient artefact to a secret ceremony. Once this is done, prophecy foretells that a 'Paladin' will come to slay the dragon, and a new king can be crowned to lead the people to freedom from their oppressors.
Yeah, there's a prophecy. Fantasy plot-crutch 101.
Anyway, our heroine is assisted by a handsome smuggler she meets on the road, and opposed naturally enough by the agents of the empire - including a couple of locals who have switched sides. There's lots of walking and riding through forests, some sword fights (which to give them credit are actually depicted as dangerous and desperate events), and a climactic showdown with the dragon.
It's all pretty standard 'fantasy potboiler'; stuff, and if that's your bag and you can overlook the limits of the budget, you might like it. For anyone else, you can skip it.