The plot revolves around the character of Farmer (Jason Statham) who was found as a child and adopted by the village he lives in. When a nearby town is attacked by hordes of creatures Farmer’s child is killed and his wife captured prompting him and some friends to band together to rescue her.
Along the way they encounter the King, played by a ‘phoning in my performance’ Burt Reynolds and aided – almost predictably – by John Rhys-Davies as his tame magician.
The creatures are being controlled by Ray Liotta’s Gallian who has joined forces with Matthew Lillard’s overly camp and totally unbelievable Duke Fallow. Neither ever really convey any sense of menace and are so hammy they could have been plucked from BBC One’s Robin Hood.
The film looks beautiful thanks to the Canadian settings but is suffers from some really dreadful dialogue and performances. Disappointingly there can’t be a sci-fi or fantasy movie this film doesn’t steal dialogue or scenes from.
Want to see a riff of Obi Wan and Vader’s lightsabre duel? You’re in luck. Care to see a reshoot of that scene in Doctor Who: The Five Doctors where from a cliff top the heroes manage to get a rope line to the tower in the distance? This is your lucky day.
The ‘making of’ feature hints at why this is such a bad film – one of the cast comments that it has ‘a lot of fights so the boys will like it’. Actually you’d imagine that the sort of person who plays these games would be more interested in the plot and quest elements, both of which are largely missing here.
Just in case the fights aren’t enough to grip the lads in the audience there’s the mandatory revealing costumes for the female characters.
This might well serve as a kid pleaser except the one (or two?) instances of mild swearing and certificate 12 rating make it unsuitable for the younger audiences most likely to watch it uncritically. Older viewers will find it hard to stay to the end.