This movie is full of bubonic bugs, barbaric behavior, and, of course, Badass Bean. Sean Bean that is. If you feel like you’ve seen this movie a hundred times before it’s because you have. It’s a by-the-numbers flick about 14th century dudes running around killing “witches” and burning villages in the name of God when they should be practicing basic hygiene. But it’s rather entertaining and features some solid fight scenes.
Rumor has it that a village out in the deep dark marsh is unaffected by the titular black death plague which has overtaken all the Christian lands. The marsh people are led by a woman. This, naturally, means the villagers are responsible for the plague and should be murdered in ways most violent. There was no room for higher thought in the 1348. Sean Bean and friends are just the mother offers to take on the quest. Bean asks for a new priest and an old priest to guide his party into the boggy marsh. Well, he just asks for one priest and is given a young monk, who has his own reasons (Read: A hottie) to join the venture.
One thing you won’t mistake this movie for is a feel good romcom. It’s about as bleak as are my prospects for landing Brooklyn Decker. Innocent people, guilty people, and every kind of person in between are decapitated, stabbed, punched and/or literally torn apart at every opportunity. If someone believes differently, they must be murdered. If someone looks like a witch, they must be murdered. If someone coughs, they must be murdered. Decision making is easy. Justice is brutally swift.
Eventually the witch hunter party, after plodding along and killing some fodder, find the village and their leader. Think Road Trip, but with less stops at motels run by Andy Dick and more sword fighting. The “demon worshiping” cult village isn’t big on Christians. Bean and company aren’t big on crazy cults living in marshes. Something has to give. Spoiler: It does.
The movie excels when it forces its characters to make tough decisions. Die or live. Denounce God or be torn apart by horses. Your choice. Most interestingly, the young and precocious monk, who had never before been presented with any other thought chain, has to decide whether true love or the Church is his savior.
This flick isn’t going to blow your mind, but if you’re in the mood for something that will allow you to grunt in unison with the onscreen men whilst they do manly bashing things then this movie is for you. Simply put, it’s In the Name of the Rose’s world, with Centurion violence levels.
Snore Factor: ZZZ