Friday 11 June 2010

Black Death review

Black Death (15, 101 mins)
Director: Christopher Smith
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
 It’s 1348 and the Black Death is in full swing throughout England. Enter Sean Bean, seemingly straight off the set of Lord of the Rings, as an envoy of the bishop charged with finding a village where it is claimed the plague has no effect and the suspicion is that devilry is afoot. Though a bit of a slog at times, Black Death benefits from an interesting character in Bean, who’s not so much a hero as a murderer for god, and it becomes a far more fascinating movie when he and his men reach the village. It’s grim and grimy, like something Hammer rivals Tigon would have churned out in the early 70s, with some brutal and chaotic swordplay and a nice line in anti-ecumenical rancour, even if it ultimately doesn’t have the courage of its convictions.