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Medieval DVD Review

“Medieval” is a limp historical biopic.  

Inspired by the true story of Jan Zizka, “Medieval” is set in Italy A.D. 1402. The Holy Roman Empire is in chaos and a new Emperor (Wenceslas) needs to be crowned to stabilize matters. In order to see this through, the fiance (Katherine) of a powerful nobleman (Lord Rosenberg) is kidnapped by a Czech knight (Jan Zizka) to force Rosenberg to side with Wenceslas. Unfortunately, this power move has consequences as the would be Emperor’s throne hungry half-brother (Sigismund) sends men (led by Torak) to retrieve Katherine. While all of this is going on, Katherine and Jan Zizka begin to develop a bond that goes beyond friendship.

Despite being designed as a tribute to both Jan Zizka and freedom fighters, “Medieval” feels more like a byproduct of the success of “Game Of Thrones.” There’s a whole lot of convoluted scheming and jostling for the throne here, but it’s clear director Peter Jakl favors action instead (which the movie delivers in spades). Expect everything from a lion and heads crushed by rocks to arrow pierced bodies and numerous sword and dagger stabbings in the often bloody battle sequences. The action is certainly exciting at times, but the budgetary limitations are apparent with the quick cut edits, the bland washed out cinematography, and the wonky CGI. There are impressive production values though in terms of the sets, costumes, make-up, and weaponry.

The script by Peter Jakl isn’t exactly nuanced. The plotting is hazy, the characterization is thin, the romance feels forced, and there’s a lot of cliched biopic elements here. Given that this is a biopic of Jan Zizka, it felt as if Jakl barely scratched the surface about who this military genius was.

An exquisite cast is assembled here with the likes of Ben Foster, Michael Caine, Matthew Goode, Sophie Lowe, Karel Roden and William Moseley appearing, but everyone is wasted here. Foster commits to the role of Jan Zizka, but the sparse role feels beneath the often electric and intense actor. It’s always good to see Michael Caine class up a movie, but his role is nothing if not limited. 


Presentation: Widescreen. Grade: B

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. Grade: B+

No extras have been included.


December 6, 2022 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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