When I watched this on the big screen I quite enjoyed it, despite its several faults – watching it again on the small screen it was a little more disappointing, although to be fair knowing what’s going to happen is undoubtedly partly responsible for that. Nicolas Cage stars as Behmen, the honourable knight who has turned his back on the church and the bloodshed of the crusades, and finds himself tasked with delivering a young girl to a monastery where she is to answer to the charge of witchcraft, and for being responsible for unleashing a deadly plague upon the land. The film is clear from the beginning that witches are a very real problem for the forces of good on the Earth – could the innocent looking girl be one of them?
Claire Foy as ‘The Girl’ is one of the best things about the movie, and wondering exactly what is going on with her is quite fun. Indeed, there is a strong vein of tongue-in-cheekness to the film – such as the opening montage with Cage and sword-wielding buddy Ron Pearlman (playing the equally honourable and disillusioned Felson) hacking their way through hundreds of enemy troops, standing out against ropey CGI backgrounds throughout, whilst they ribald each other over who’s going to buy who the drinks after the slaughter. Some of the dialogue is equally hammy, but if you happen to be in the mood for some fantasy fare and don’t have high expectations, then this will probably still entertain.