- Running time:
- 121 minutes
- James Purefoy -
- Paul Giamatti -
- King John
- Kate Mara -
- Lady Isabel
- Brian Cox -
- Derek Jacobi -
A group of rebel barons in 1215 England attempt to hold down Rochester Castle during a siege by King John (Paul Giamatti)—disgruntled by the recent Magna Carta treaty limiting his authority—and his army. Among those standing up to the King: moody Templar knight Marshall (James Purefoy) and outspoken Baron Albany (Brian Cox). Less enthusiastic about the battle is the castle’s owner, Reginald de Cornhill (Derek Jacobi), whose much younger wife (Kate Mara) has eyes for Marshall.
The verdict: If you love brutal battles and severed body parts in action scenes rendered all but incoherent by 21st Century shaky cam, “Ironclad” is the historical epic for you. Director Jonathan English (whose previous credits include low budget historical monster movie “Minotaur”) fetishizes the various ways in which men can be skewered by medieval weaponry, and stages all other human interactions as flat imitations of the classy/trashy historical soaps that run on Showtime and Starz. It took 18 executive producers to cobble together the complicated financing for this dubious project (shot back in 2009 and receiving only a token theatrical run in the U.S.), and who knows what kind of convincing to get an Oscar nominee like Giamatti on board. At one point Megan Fox was attached as the female lead. Lucky for her that didn’t work out. Unlucky for everyone else the movie still happened.
["Ironclad" is also available on demand from select cable providers.]
Follow Metromix's Geoff Berkshire on Twitter: @geoffberkshire
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