At first I was like, “Aw, fucking sweet! They made a movie about ironclad warships during the civil war! And Paul Giamatti must be playing Admiral Goldsborough or something.”
And then I watched read the (way too long) synopsis:
IRONCLAD recounts one of the most violent, pivotal moments in English medieval history - when a few good men fought against insurmountable odds to defend their country from a megalomaniac, blood-drunk king. Torn from the pages of history, the devastating battle for the castle of Rochester is a true story of honour, action and excitement. There will be blood.
The year is 1215. King John (Paul Giamatti) has been forced to sign the Magna Carta, a document that will ensure the freedom of men and form the basis of common law in England. Furious at having been forced to sign it, King John raises a vicious mercenary army and begins a rampage across the country to regain total power. But as the King’s army is on the brink of reaching London and taking back control of the country, one last castle stands between him and inevitable victory: Rochester.
Gathered together by Baron Albany (Brian Cox), a small band of rebel warriors gather inside Rochester intent on holding off King John until reinforcements arrive: a Templar Knight (James Purefoy) whose soul is wracked with guilt over the atrocities he has committed during the crusades and his burgeoning feelings for Isabel (Kate Mara), the beautiful lady of the castle and lonely wife of the aging Reginald de Cornhill (Derek Jacobi); battle-hardened mercenaries such as Beckett (Jason Flemying), who fight not for God and country, but for money and bloodlust; and young soldiers like Guy (Aneurin Barnard), who’ll taste blood and battle for the first time - and perhaps the last.
OK, that’s a little different then, isn’t it. But still, Paul Giamatti, Brian Cox, Jason Flemying, and Derek Jacobi? Damn. Kate Mara, eh, whatever. And James Purefoy… don’t think I’ve forgotten about Solomon Kane, James. Because I have not. Nor have I forgiven you for it. But still, intriguing. So then I watched the trailer:
So that was… a little bit much, eh? The rock soundtrack was kind of goofy, and Kate Mara still is very pretty, and very wooden. Giamatti is in snarling crazypants mode, which is fun. I dunno. It looks entertaining, perhaps, but I don’t know if it looks good.
FUN FACT TIME! It’s directed by Jonathan English. One of his few other credits is the Sci Fi Channel original movie (uh oh) Minotaur, which came out in 2006 and starred — I shit you not — Tom Hardy, Tony Todd, and Rutger Hauer. I mean, is that fucked up or is that fucked up?