Oh god. I’ve watched a lot of films. In that time of watching a lot of films I’ve watched a lot of crap, I mean large amounts of amazingly bad “who the feck commissioned this” bad, you wouldn’t believe the amount of crap I’ve watched.
But in all that time, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film as bad as this. It’s badly directed, badly acted (by some large names as well), badly scripted and produced…it’s just bad.
Paul Giamatti plays a really shouty (he starts losing his voice at one point) King John, a king who has the smallest army you’ve ever seen, some of the them more interested in getting the hair (wigs) out of their faces then fighting.
James Purefoy plays Marshal…do you know what? It’s not even worth me explaining. This is just bad. It looks like it was filmed on a Sony Handycam, an 80’s one, stuck on a tri-pod that judders and jerks in some pan shots. Even the lighting is bad, you may think I’m just being silly now, but I kid you not it has this strange blue hue to the outside shots which doesn’t sit right with the rest of the movie (or any movie). It’s like I’ve just walked outside with my generic HD camera and started filming.
There’s lots of gore in the film during the fights scenes but it isn’t even worth watching for that. It’s nothing new and doesn’t stand out and doesn’t add to the film when the rest of it is so bad.
The one good thing about this, and I almost feel ashamed to mention it, is Kate Mara. And yes I’m afraid part of that is because she is very attractive, but she also seems to handle the clunky lines the best and actually manages to show her emotions without the ‘close-mouth-and-clench-teeth-so-jaw-flares’ thing that everyone else seems to do.
The other MASSIVE issues I have already touched on is the directing. Jonathan English is the man behind the camer and he decided (why oh why) to go for the shaky handy cam during the fights scenes and, amusingly, during one scene when the castle is falling down. That’s right they shake the camera to give the effect that the ground is moving, you know like they used to do in Star Trek…IN THE 70’s??
The film tried to bill itself as a ‘small-budget’ action blockbuster. However it’s rumoured to have cost $25 million dollars!! If I was an investor I’d be crying right now. Give me $25 million and even if I cast Jedward, every banker in the world and my mum in the film I could make something better than this.
You can purchase the Ironclad DVD here: Ironclad (DVD)