Film Corner: The Sword

The Sword

Alright, my good bitches. I come bearing Amazon movies because it's been a long fucking day. THE SWORD. Nice, solid name for a minute. "In 730 AD, young Garron is given the task to defend his home as his father rides to war. That task proves to be difficult as the calamity strikes and the enemy closes in." Wait what? They didn't even capitalize The Calamity. What is it?

"Ever obedient, Garron must rely on his father's guidance and God's strength to overcome the odds--or risk death for all that he loves." I'm nervous now. Is this a Christian movie? Some of those are mind bogglingly bad. We have red Roman centurion costumes from a passion play. We have wheat fields from GLADIATOR. We have a sword being nonspecifically forged. We have a very specific filming technique that probably has a name but it's where the camera just holds perfectly still on a scene and doesn't move at all in any way.

We have his wife wearing glowing virginal white while she gardens, which I question the wisdom of. Roman Centurion Marcus has to go away for travel and says they can't complain and have been fortunate; his superiors are "getting apprehensive about our beliefs" KLAXON KLAXON WE HAVE CHRISTIAN MOVIE. This doesn't make sense; 730 AD was like 400 years after Constantine. Christians weren't being persecuted then!! I'm pretty sure!! Idk, I'm tired. I wish more movies involved religious beliefs without them being Christian or Christian Expy. They keep talking about God, so they're definitely monotheistic.

Christian historical fiction is usually SO incorrect, though. There's a book out there that I reviewed, badly, in which the medieval Catholics were all modern Protestants. And that's not even rare or unusual, it was just upsetting. The problem is that a lot of evangelicals want to believe that their version of worship has ALWAYS been an unchanging constant truth, AND always been persecuted, and both those ideas are ahistorical. Most of what constitutes evangelical belief is relatively NEW, like "200 years old at the most" level of new. But they want to trace an unbroken, and indeed unchanging, theological line to Jesus.

So you get books set in medieval Catholicism where nobody mentions Mary, the intercession of priests and confession is openly scoffed at, characters have deep meaningful one on one prayer sessions with Jesus, and they even ENGAGE IN AN EXORCISM without summoning a priest. Anyway, that book is bad, but technically has nothing to do with this movie.

Father and son are wooden stick practice fighting with the same verve and energy as me shuffling to feed the cats at 5 am. I want to point out that this kid is way too young to be our protagonist AND his name isn't Garron, yet the movie seems to be setting him up as protagonist anyway and this troubles me. LOL, they're doing that awkward Christian writing thing where they have to reference their faith once per sentence, lest you think they're not godly.

Dad is giving this kid his REAL sword and you'd think he'd need that for his mission but I guess he has extras. I really question that this scrawny 8 year old kid has the arm strength to even wield this weapon. Marcus' beard looks like they glued stuffed animal hair to his face. Ok, apparently their religious backstory is that his job with the legion took them to Phillipi, where he learned from some men in prison, and now they know God's love. Uhhh, by 730 AD, Christianity was not a secret thing. Maybe Amazon has the year wrong??

......ok, I guess...these characters aren't important yet and we're just introducing The Sword? This guy would be the "prison guard" (a traveling prison guard, how novel) and the sword is his "typical weapon" (prison guards and their swords, amirite?). In which case we're still IN THE TIME OF CHRIST and we're due for a time skip soon??? This is why bad movies are fun: they're utterly unpredictable because they make TERRIBLE narrative decisions!

I...guess we're flashing back to the prison conversion. An earthquake opens the prison doors and the centurion is about to kill himself (to avoid punishment for losing the prisoners) but they stop him because they're still there which honestly strikes me as pretty fucking ungrateful to God and his earthquake. They give him a fish pendant. I guess they just carry extras for handing out. Oh, it was PAUL. Not really "the time of Jesus" if he's always died, but whatever.

The sword he almost killed himself with is a constant reminder of God's faithfulness to them, etc. His wife is about to start giving me PTSD flashbacks, I swear. She's that very Stepford type of Christian wife, just smiling and saying "you're right of course" over and over again. Montage of faceless people handing this SPECIAL SWORD to other people, for generations. Gee, glad we met those characters we'll never see again.

Now we're in Southern Gaul, 730 AD. A chain mail clad knight rides up to a castle yelling that he has a message from the king for "Jonathan Duvoy". I...we're in Gaul so we should be Frenchish and Merovingian, right? Duvoy is...Irish? Or Gaelic? I don't know, y'all. The 700s aren't my forte. Charles Martel, we are informed by Johnny Boy, has called for men at arms to help. I'm distracted by this actor's *deep* southern accent. I'm expecting him to rally fighting men at the honky tonk.

His son is Garron and his nephew is...Tristan. He keeps calling Charles Martel the "king", which I'm reliably informed is not quite correct, but here we are. Wife Constance manages to be Stepfordy by virtue of being bed ridden in a non specific manner. Garron is gonna stay behind to protect the castle, which seems not in the spirit of EVERY FIGHTING MAN that King Charles Marrrrrteehl asked for, but I'm not the one with the moral code ostensibly against rules-lawyering.

Actually, Garron looks twelve so I question Johnny Cash's decision to leave him in charge. We don't have ANY elderly men or non-ill women to run the castle? Gotta be the sperm baby? Ok. When your serfs make him sign the Magna Carta because he's a fucking kid, you will have nobody to blame but yourself. John Johnson leaves the family sword, which--again--you would think might be needed for the upcoming battle.

[RACISM] Oh my god, the enemy is the "Muhammadons" I cannot. There's a shitload of racism about them and it's awful. Like, seriously considering stopping here. THAT awful. Because you know that's who "the enemy" is going to be and not, like, elves or zombies. YEAH NO WE'RE DONE WITH THIS RACIST MOVIE. I'm noping out here where Muslim spies watch the castle for the "infidel lords" to leave.


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