I saw the trailer for this a few weeks ago and being a fan of historical fiction movies such as the Romans and medieval times, I wanted to see this one. Directed by little known Jonathan English, the movie chronicles the siege of Rochester Castle by King John in 1215. It was the castlist that initially alerted me to this movie. There are some stellar names here such as Paul Giamatti as King John, Charles Dance in the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Brian Cox as rebel baron Albany. Supporting these few are Mackenzie Crook (The Office), Kate Mara (Shooter), Derek Jacobi (you name it) and Jason Flemying (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels).
So what an amazing lineup of acting talent eh? If that isn’t enough to grab you, then the action scenes certainly should be. Fans of this type of movie and if you have seen Centurion (reviewed here) then this is the kind of action you can expect here, although I think this actually goes a little further into the gruesomeness of the killing. Some graphic scenes here and any squeamishness should be left at the door.
In addition to the siege of Rochester Castle storyline is the inner striggle that one Knights Templar has regarding the vows he took and has followed in the name of the church, especially when he meets Lady Isabel who is married to the lord of Rochester, Cornhill (Derek Jacobi). It is these vows that Thomas Marshall (James Purefoy) has taken that have enabled him to fight and survive for all these years and his faith and resolve will be tested in many ways.
I very much enjoyed this movie and being able to have all my attention on it is certainly a mark of a good movie in my house. Sometimes I watch a film and do other things at the same time; not tonight, the story was good, the acting superb and the action just as good, so I highly recommend you see this one soon and give it 7.5/10. More Cinema Saturday next week, but look out for Wicked Wednesday to wet your horror taste buds midweek.