Published on September 14th, 2011 | by Chris2
Ah, medieval England. King John has declared the Magna Carta invalid and has gone on a mission of conquest across the land to reclaim his keeps from the peoples. Or at least that's the version portrayed here. Just to get this out in the open, this movie is (very) loosely based on the Siege of Rochester Castle. Let's just say reality is quite, quite different than the events portrayed here, so don't go writing any history reports based on this movie.
In this version, Marshal (James Purefoy) is one of the famed Knights Templar, and becomes involved with the Barons whom King John has now effectively declared war on. They make their stand at Rochester Castle, where he (inevitably) is conflicted by his vows to the church and his order, and his feelings for Rochester's daughter, Isabel (Kate Mara.) Here, they manage to stave off the English army, almost literally to the last man (and woman) until the French arrive and save the day. Again, not what happened.
As an action movie, though, it pretty much fits the bill. Although it is an extremely graphic one. Extremely. There is enough blood visibly spilled, along with severed limbs and heads to fill more than a few buckets. As an accurate depiction of medieval combat, I'm pretty sure they got pretty close to the mark. But after a while you just start to go, "oh, man, that was unnecessary!" Especially when Albany (Brian Cox) is, um, dispatched.
Purefoy is suitably stoic as Marshal, maybe too much so. Kate Mara won't be winning any Oscars here, and the casting of Paul Giamatti as King John is either pure genius or a royal (ha) screwup. He's just crazy enough to pull it off, which he does, but you've seen him enough in other movies as "that crazy guy" that it doesn't quite seem right.
So, put away the textbooks, and prepare your stomach. Ironclad is a pretty decent medieval action/combat picture based in a compressed, altered version of English history. I still have to give it a mere 6/10, though. It's fair, but its not all that great.
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A ragtag group of Knights Templar hold out for months against the hard-fought siege of Rochester Castle in the thirteenth Century. Set in the time of King John's signing of the Magna Carta treaty, the group struggles against the King to defend the freedom of their country...
DVD InformationBinding: Blu-ray
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Manufacturer: Arc Entertainment
Original Release Date:
- Paul Giamatti
- Brian Cox
- Factory sealed DVD
Summary: So, put away the textbooks, and prepare your stomach. Ironclad is a pretty decent medieval action/combat picture based in a compressed, altered version of English history.