Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One Minute Movie Review: Ironclad

Director Jonathan English delivers his version of the medieval magnificent seven with all the historical accuracy of Brave heart with twice the violence and gore. Despite its many factual flaws, what this film does authentically portray is the brutality of combat in the dark ages, and that it does ad nauseum.   The acting is subdued but engaging, the effects are over reaching, and the cinematography provides this flick with a gritty and genuine scope and sweep. Paul Giamatti is absolutely miscast as the cowardly and oppressive king.  His performance comes off whiny and irritating rather than convincing and sinister. James Purefoy plays the brooding and reluctant hero, obsessively, and Brian Cox convincingly portrays the rebellious baron probably the best performance of his career. Finally, Kate Mara delivers a less than stellar performance as the tormented heroine locked into a loveless marriage and a soulless yearning for Purefoy's knightly warrior. The remaining cast pulls of a B minus attempt to capture the camaraderie and chemistry of the magnificent seven, dirty dozen ensemble concept. In the end, it was a good idea that never reached beyond that.  2 out of 5 Kernels: this movie lived and died by its own sword.

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