THE FOUR WARRIORS (2015)
Directed by Phil Hawkins
Three soldiers, along with their muslim captive, are making their way home through England after fighting in the Crusades. On their journey, they come across a village in need of their help. Almost all the children and all of the men from the village have been taken by the darkness in the woods surrounding the village, leaving the female villagers to defend the only child left, Dimitri. Suspecting slavers are the ones responsible for the kidnappings, the men decide to stay for a couple of days to help the women and defend the village from further attacks but when Dimitri is taken from within the village, the men must stop whoever is responsible, man, spirit or demon, and rescue Dimitri from their clutches.
Period battle drama meets supernatural fantasy in THE FOUR WARRIORS, a tale of four heroes who must battle against evil forces to save the younger generation and prevent darkness from spreading across the land.
Whilst the film takes place at a time of a holy war between Christians and Muslims, THE FOUR WARRIORS doesn’t touch upon the actual Crusades but the aftermath of returning home to their respective lands. The focus is very much on the soldiers and how the war has affected them and what they plan to do when they return home. The spanner is truly thrown into the works when they accidentally come across a village in need of their help, but as soldiers, they feel it is their duty to protect and serve to help the villagers keep safe and return to their normal lives. However, as the soldiers find out, their quest isn’t without danger with an enemy that is beyond that they’ve seen on the battlefield.
The film’s five leads are pretty decent and convincing in their roles. Hamish (Bloody Cuts‘ Fergal Philips), the youngest of the soldiers, is keen to get hitched when he returns home to his village, though as William (Glenn Speers) points out, all the women will have already got married in their absence. Not that William minds. He’s got his own wife waiting for him at home along with his many children. Richard (Christopher Dane) speaks little of his home life and being the brooding commander of the trio, the others daren’t question him on it either. He finds a kindred spirit in Alina (Alex Childs) though, the head of the village, who is in desperate need of the soldiers’ help to protect their village and the last remaining child, her son Dimitri. Cowering silently in the corner is Khushtar (Hadrian Howard), the “mule” who’s job is to carry all the soldiers’ gear after they captured him during the war, dragging him all the way back to England with them. However, is there more to him than meets the eye?
You won’t find any Game of Thrones intensity in this film, even if Hodor (Kristian Nairn) has a small role in it. Instead, THE FOUR WARRIORS feels as though it’s aimed for the younger crowds who like a bit of mystery amidst the sword play, almost taking on an Indiana Jones style in the latter half of the film. The script and plot often struggle throughout the movie with a weak execution but there’s plenty of humour and on-screen action to keep it watchable. For a certificate 12, it would probably appeal to the younger generation though if they’re expecting huge set-pieces, they’ll be sorely disappointed. This is more akin to a Sunday afternoon movie, which is no bad thing, but is an acquired taste and for kids who have short attention spans, the lack of explosions and in-your-face battles might be off-putting.
THE FOUR WARRIORS is enjoyable even if it’s not thrilling with a couple of good ideas but unfortunately it’s rather forgettable despite its best intentions.