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Ironclad: Historical Adventure That’s Light on the Adventure

  • Brian CoxJames Purefoy...
  • Action & Adventure
  • Jonathan English
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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Ironclad: Historical Adventure That’s Light on the Adventure

As a historical account, Ironclad tells the story of a group heroic
warriors who stood up against King John in order to defend the castle of
Rochester amidst a civil war In England.

Set in 1215, the story revolves
around the hated and reviled King John (Giamatti). Drunk and reckless, he
refuses to abide by the Magna Carta, which guaranteed the rights of citizens in

While on his rampage, it’s the castle
of Rochester that provides the toughest test for the King. Assembled with the
help of Baron Albany (Cox), a small group of revolutionary fighters use the
castle as a fortress to hold off King John’s powerful armies.

Led by Marshall (Purefoy), a knight
who has a regretful past and has growing affections for the already married
lady of the castle Isabel (Mara), the rebels go on to engage in an epic
blood-thirsty battle that will define the war.

The historically accurate plot is the
best feature of the story, and sub-plots such as Marshall’s love interest and
the knights’ pasts make for a more interesting watch. As clichéd and predictable as it might seem at times, the
film’s story is still engaging

Just as important to the structure of
a film however, are its characters. In Ironclad
they are acceptable, and nothing more. Paul Giamatti actually plays his role
perfectly as the enraged King.

The rest of the cast offer simple
performances that don’t live up to such an epic tale. Even as the lead, James
Purefoy fails to capture the essence of a rebellious warrior.

As for the fighting sequences,
they’re tremendously disappointing. The clichéd shaky-camera technique is in
full use in the film, and does nothing to enhance the action scenes. If you’re
expecting bloodshed and gore, prepare to be disappointed, as they are at a
minimum, compared to other films of the same genre.

In conclusion, Ironclad is an attempt to combine history and adventure, that fails
to do so.   With such a lack of
originality and fresh elements, it’s a wonder filmmakers keep picking up these
scripts. Good for a rental at most.

Like This? Try

The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

360 Tip

Paul Giamatti filmed all of his scenes in just 7 days.

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