In a nutshell – if you like cold, gritty, historical (but I very much doubt historically accurate), swords and arrows action, this one is for you.
Paul Giamatti is brilliantly cast as the evil King John who is determined to ignore the Magna Carter and reclaim the power of his kingdom. He is more than happy to strike down any who stand in his way, with help from his hired army from overseas. He is perhaps a little pantomime here, but I found this both amusing and quite entertaining, others will possibly hate it.
Violence abounds throughout this movie, but naturally it is all building to the epic climatic battle…with a handful of half-starved and depleted warriors having to take on an army of well fed and rested soldiers, the good and bad lines are very clearly drawn here.
For me, it dragged on a little too long. Lose 25 minutes and it’d be a lot sharper.
There were some decent performances and the casting ‘risks’ given the genre were actually inspired as they all turned in top draw performances. Jason Flemyng, Brian Cox and Mackenzie Crook clearly delighted in the freedom they were afforded in their roles and Giamatti again filling the screen with his villainous turn.
Bloody stuff, not for the faint hearted, but all reasonably good battlefield fun.