If a movie is touted as “Game of Thrones meets Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters”, it’s obviously going to be a must-see for me. I’m one of the few people in my social group who liked HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS, and I’m a rabid fan of GAME OF THRONES…so this kind of lure is almost too much for me to deny. This description was initially what drew me to FOUR WARRIORS, a recent release from Lionsgate. Unfortunately, I wish I would have listened to my instincts on this one; despite its claim, this film is nothing like either title. I want the 90 minutes of my life I spent on this film back.
If you are not familiar with FOUR WARRIORS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Lionsgate:
Four battle-weary Crusaders take on a mission to track down the evil predator who has abducted all the men and children from a devastated village.
From a production standpoint, the film looks ok. It is shot decently and the camerawork is clean. Likewise, the sets are fairly believable (much of it is shot in the woods, so not much you can do with that), and the locales look nice. Even the acting is acceptable. But that is where the positives end.
FOUR WARRIORS is a low-budget venture that has the look and feel of a LARP (Live Action Role Play) production. I say this because the details of the whole film are all lacking. The characters look nothing like Crusaders (these guys are all clean cut and fit), and they are about as mismatched a group as you can imagine. I couldn’t decide if they were supposed to be comical or serious. In the end, they quickly started to annoy me. The weapons look fake and even the armor seems too clean and shiny to be real for the time period.
The battle scenes try to be intense, but they have no flair. I never once felt like anybody was in real danger, as the swings and strokes of the weaponry are so far off the mark it’s just plain sad. I have seen more action in high school plays.
The ‘demons’ in FOUR WARRIORS are too humanlike, which makes them eye-rolling-ly laughable. I attribute this to the low budget film factor. Granted, this is not a huge negative, but when combined with everything else wrong in the film, it’s yet another reason to shrug this one off.
FOUR WARRIORS misses the mark for me, and therefore I cannot recommend it with a good conscious. Director Phil Hawkins shows some promise, but a few major issues (as mentioned above) will have to be addressed for future projects. This film is available now, however, if you decide to give it a look.