direction: Peter eats | Scenario: Peter Jackle Sr., Peter Jackle | spit: Ben Foster (Jean), Sophie Lowe (Catherine), Michael Caine (Lord Burrish), Matthew Judd (King Sigismund), Til Schweiger (Rosenberg), ao | game time: 126 minutes | year: 2022
Medieval It tells a story about an early moment in the life of the historical figure Jan Zizka, a medieval Czech general. He orders the daughter of a king to be taken from her unjust fiancé. She soon realizes that her captors are not enemies and that she is helping Jean and his men during their escape.
The movie begins with a solid action scene. In real life, Jan Zizeka was known as a genius strategist, so it made sense to show how he works. It is expected that a chariot will be attacked, after which it will be brought by horse exactly to where Yan wants and there it will shorten the enemy. One of his men even pushed a horse and rider off the road under his force.
So this would be a tight action movie with a wink. At least that’s what you think with an opening like this. In the next two hours, you get one of those moments in the middle of the road and another at the end. The rest is filled with some drama, blood, and romance. The three were performing in a very unpleasant way.
Director Peter Jackel beautifully depicts his homeland, the Czech Republic. At least, at first there was some forest and then there is also a medieval city. But soon almost all the forests became, and from time to time a village of three houses in the forest. It’s definitely a beautiful landscape, but a bit boring in the long run.
So we already have a little bit of action and not very sexy pictures. What about drama, blood and romance? The interpretation of the plot is a bit confusing. A new pope is said to have just been elected in France – the story is set in the time of the Western Schism, when things moved from Rome to Avignon (which was a major controversy) – but in Italy they are ready to declare someone else responsible for the same pope.
This introduction only has nothing to do with what the story is actually about. The plot revolves around the kidnapping of the king’s daughter and she gains insight into how her fiancé brutally manages the place. Do you need two hours for that? No, but the movie will take that time. So the drama is on the skinny side. Since the story is set in the Middle Ages, sometimes someone gets impaled or beheaded, but you don’t see anything that hasn’t been seen in years, for example in Game of thrones.
Then romance remains, a standard case for “who cares.” The Czech public is probably familiar with the general who never lost a battle. Well, both eyes. Losing someone we see in the movie. The fair is fair: Medieval It is the only movie I have ever seen where live worms are thrown into a bleeding eye socket on someone, accompanied by soft emotional background music. Because it’s a romantic moment.
The movie itself has some unusual little pluses. This way, dialects are not frowned upon. British actors sound British, Americans appear to be American and other actors speak English with a mixed voice in their own language. There are also very occasional shots of Twilight Villages that don’t have the usual unreal Hollywood lighting, but just show the near darkness you get without lampposts or torches.
The three moments of excitement are also satisfying to watch. Especially the sequence in the middle of the movie in which Jean and his men encounter the army chasing them, against which they are so brilliantly. reminds me a little 300. After all, the real Jean was known for his talent for strategy. It’s nice that these moments are in the movie, but it’s a pity that they are no longer there.
Not the strongest movie, but in the Netflix show there are worse options. In any case, it’s a good idea to learn something about a character from another country’s history, even if most of it is your own interpretation. Medieval You might as well open doors for Jákl, because she looks professional enough. At least more than you’d expect from the guy who played a small role in the American sex comedy Eurotrip. Jan is called.
Medieval It can be seen on Netflix.