RISE OF THE SHADOW WARRIOR (2013)
Directed by John Lyde
RISE OF THE SHADOW WARRIOR is a mesmerising fantasy film, which harks back to the fantasy films I used to watch as a child. Director John Lyde, the writers and crew have done a magnificent job in creating a gripping story set in a land of dwarves, dragons and mermaids. The visuals of this movie will blow you away, from the stunning landscapes and picturesque scenes to the incredible character creations by the FX department. For a film that seems fairly independent, the practical FX are breathtaking, with each character given their own look and personality, and the clear care and attention gone into creating specific looks for the different species inhabiting this Earth. The costumes are equally as impressive as the make-up, with an accurate attention to detail that ensures this film is the fantasy movie the filmmakers envision, and boy, do they succeed!
If you love action and adventure films, then you’ll love what RISE OF THE SHADOW WARRIOR has in store for you. The viewer is treated to an abundance of species that includes dragons, orcs, dwarves, monsters, prophet spirits, mermaids, and of course, elves, as well as humans. Not since Lord of the Rings have we seen things like this and in all honesty, I prefer Rise of the Shadow Warrior, with its brutal kick-ass action and likable trio of heroes. Where else will you see a human, an Elf and an Orc team up together? The little kid in you will be wriggling with excitement as the trio hack and slash their way through this entertaining mythical flick. It may suit the older audiences more with its beheadings and realistic savagery, but I can’t recall the sight of much blood being shed, despite the numerous deaths that occur. Despite the lack of obvious blood, the movie will have your heart race as you flinch watch every swipe and stab of the sword.
Like Lord of the Rings, RISE OF THE SHADOW WARRIOR isn’t without its shots of jaw-dropping landscapes. The varied landscape and terrain of Utah is the filming location of choice for many, including RISE OF THE SHADOW WARRIOR and what a perfect choice it turns out to be. Panning across the mountainous landscapes and trekking through the flourishing forests creates a distinct, epic world for the antagonists, and the viewers, to explore. Even scenes including the mystical Prophetess are visually stunning enough to take your breath away.
I must also applaud the cast who all do an amazing job, especially the three energetic actors who immerse themselves in the three lead roles. Danielle Chuchran stars as our Elvin warrior Nemyt, a strong-willed bounty hunter who seeks revenge against those who’ve wronged her. Irish actor Richard McWilliams plays the role of Keltis, a wandering warrior who fights for the powerfuly spririt Prophetess (voiced by Stephanie Breinholt). Heading up the trio is a heavily made-up Paul D. Hunt as the honest and courageous warrior Orc, Kullimon the Black, who too seeks revenge. With these three stars, who don’t shy away from the action scenes, and a solid engaging storyline, RISE OF THE SHADOW WARRIOR is an enjoyable thrill to watch as it is a filmmaking accomplishment.
The passon for the genre is clearly obvious, so if your looking for an action-packed fantasy, with wit and adventure to boot, then I heartily advise this amazing movie!