if you watch Ironclad Battle for Blood , you’ll probably feel how you felt in most of your 8th grade History class—bored. This medieval flick is somehow both confusing and boring, despite its incredible amount of action sequences. The plot is pretty much what I’ve seen in any revenge film, which is a super basic formula wherein all the filmmaker needs to choose is method of killing and person being killed:
•They [beheaded, raped, tortured, captured] my [son, daughter, wife] and NOW THEY MUST PAY! (In Ironblood 2 it is a father seeking vengeance for his son’s throat being slit.) Soooo bored already, right?
It was just not for me. I am not a fan of anything remotely medieval historical-y-ish (except Army of Darkness, duh) and I lost interest in Game of Thrones this season so I’m definitely not the right market for this film. That being said, I’m not the right market for The Notebook either (I hate chick flicks) but that was a damn good film. I would like to think I can recognize a good film even if it’s not a genre I care for. And I just did not feel like Ironclad 2 was a good film.
To be fair, I did not see the first Ironclad, but I did read a little bit about it so I was decently informed. It didn’t feel like a sequel to me. It just felt like a clunky action film. It really wasn’t satisfying to watch and it did not hold my interest at all. I honestly could not retell the plot using the characters’ names if you paid me. It’s not because I didn’t pay attention—it’s because it was so bland it wasn’t worth committing to memory. I was shocked that this film was directed by the same man who directed the first Ironclad, which (as far as I read) had a much better cast and was pretty well received. Also, I guess the first Ironclad was based on true historical accounts but the sequel wasn’t? What? Why? Does that seem weird to anyone else? If you’re going to make a purely fictitious movie, why link it to a based-on-true-events one? I’m sure it’s all political and has to do with funding but whatever, I’m not on board.
One of the worst things about this was the lack of any intentional humor (although there were some non-intentionally laugh-worthy moments.) Nothing is worse than a dark movie without a single moment of levity. Even the grittiest, most depressing movies/shows have touches of humor (Peter Dinklage in GoT nailin’ this) because without it, you go insane. I mean, really, think about your favorite dramatic movie. Does it have at least one or two moments of humor in it? It is so necessary to break up dark films with a touch of lightness because without that, it becomes extremely one note and monotonous, which is definitely what happened here. Nothing else redeemed this film: the acting was forgettable, the cinematography, stale, and the camerawork, dizzying in a motion-sickness way. (Seriously just try to make it through one action sequence without getting disoriented. It cannot be done.)
If you’re creepily craving blood in between Game of Thrones seasons and all you want is some serious gore, you’re all set with this film. If you want good camera work (read: to not feel nauseous from the frantic shaky cam), a strong plot, and likable characters, you’re SOL. But hey, as I mentioned, I am not a fan of all that medieval jazz, so if you are, you might TOTALLY disagree with everything I just said—in which case, check it out.
IRONCLAD: BATTLE FOR BLOOD
AVAILABLE ON VOD AND ITUNES: July 11, 2014
AVAILABLE IN THEATERS: July 25, 2014
AVAILABLE ON DVD AND BLU-RAY: August 5, 2014
REVIEW BY ERIKA ROTHBERG
JUST CLICK HERE
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