By John Anderson
By Nick Schager
By Anna Dimond
By Chris Klimek
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Ciara LaVelle
By Scott Foundas
Disillusioned, defected knights Behmen and Felson (Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman) retreat home across a hotchpotch Europe, and turn off into a Hammer Film. Arriving at a plague-eaten town, our heroes are conscripted into a party charged with transporting an accused witch across perilous terrain to a cathedral town, where her trial will supposedly lift the pox from the land.
Hackneyed scenesthe thousandth iteration of fantasy-adventure fan favorite moments like crossing a rotted-through rope bridge or crying in mid-battle: The head! Cut off the head!are performed with a ceremonious straight face, as is awful camaraderie banter between Cage and Perlman The ale is on you, tonight! etc.
At points along the dark journey, director Dominic Senas treatment seems bracing because it's so basicat other times, that's merely autopilot, melees done in uniform quick-cut action montages, cycling through gouging and hacking members of the merry band.
The makeup departments glommed-on plague pustules are fantastic, but the concession to modern technology in a badly-rendered last-act CGI demon, cut-and-pasted from a Diablo II screen-grab, is so eminently lame as to cure all fear of hellfire.
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