Director: Petr Jakl
Starring: Ben Foster, Sophie Lowe, Michael Caine, Matthew Goode
Medieval is trying to be Braveheart, a mix of history and romance that’s only kinda true and honest, but it can’t even muster that. Instead, it’s a meandering European drama whose only good parts are the ones that are hard to watch. The violence is awesome, the tale is boring; that’s Medieval, a movie you’ll forget in a day because no one involved was strong enough to hold it all together when the walls started to shake.
This is the story of Jan Zizka, the Czech hero who never lost a battle, who rallied a people, and who is still revered today. His time in Bohemia was once of battle and intrigue, with kings warring against kings and multiple popes claiming to the the mightiest one. Zizka fought as a citizen of a once-grand empire, and he fought for what was right, in a time when what was really right was hard to decipher.
First, this is more a romanticizing of the early career of Zizca, not a showcase of his many victories, similar to how Braveheart ended right before Robert Bruce won Scotland its independence. Why they chose to focus on that part and not his incredible military career I have no idea, but they did highlight his use of battle wagons, his allegiance to the common folk, and the development of his heroism, so that was cool to see. The movie in general, unfortunately, was not. It was dull, dark, slow, full of dumb “surprise” captures & escapes, and seemed like it could have ended a dozen times. This was simply a mistake of aim, and perhaps a failure of vision & competency too, as Medieval is plagued by its problems, rather than uplifted by its few good qualities.
My rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆