Rise of the Shadow Warrior is like the AD&D adventures I used to play when I was at school. Unearthed Arcana came out and all of a sudden everyone wanted to be a Barbarian or a Cavalier. Ah, those were the days. I wanted to build continent spanning empires and my best mate wanted heroic but doomed quests a la Elric of Marylebone*.
Anyway, this film is like his adventures; a cursed elven heroine, a mighty warrior and super tough orc off questing together through re-cycled protagonists (hey, if they are functionally immortal, we can just keep killing the same baddies, the film's producers will love the cost saving).
Anyway, the actors do the best they can with what they've been given. Doubtless the writer envisaged a much bigger orc horde when he wrote it. The production values are good and the world is internally consistent, which makes this a ripping yarn rather than a dismal waste of time, despite it's straight-to-DVD credentials. I was completely unaware of this until it leapt into my basket at Tesco a week or two ago.
The reviewer here likened this to the Lord of the Rings trilogy and then professed to prefer this film, which I might be inclined to disagree with, but there you go. It was filmed in Utah because it's cheaper than flying to South Island, Mr reviewer; whether or not the landscape fits the film better is subjective, surely ?
If you've got the time to kill (I did, but cannot remember the circumstances that gained me this extra two hours of down time; if I can find out how it happened, I'll let you in on it) and the spare £8, it might tickle your fancy; if you remember that the lead orc character is wearing the Grinch's mask resprayed a darker green and keep your expectations at that level, you should be entertained.
|He's gonna steal Christmas !|
*I know, I know.