Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Movie Roundup: Yeah...Not a Banner Week for Film in Tucson

Posted By on Tue, Feb 9, 2021 at 10:30 AM

After a flurry of activity, the Tucson film scene takes a bit of a breath this week, with only a few new offerings. Sadly, I picked probably the worst new film in the area to view for this week's Movie Roundup.

Here's the review. Here's to better weeks ahead.

Screening at Harkins, Tucson Spectrum 18 (also available to rent on many home streaming platforms).

Director Neil Marshall is the director of one of my very favorite horror films, The Descent. That was 16 years ago.

Since then, he hasn’t even flirted with such glory, responsible for the likes of the terrible Hellboy remake and awful pics like Centurion and Doomsday. He’s done some decent TV work here and there, but nothing that delivers on the promise of his infamous cave dwelling monster masterpiece.

The Reckoning, his latest cinematic turn, keeps the bad film streak going in a particularly torturous way.

Working from a laughably bad script which he co-wrote, the film takes us to England in the 1600s, where a plague has swept through the land and witch hunts disrupt the days. Grace (Charlotte Kirk), after losing her husband (Joe Anderson) thanks to a drink out of the wrong ale mug, refuses the advances of her landlord (Steven Waddington). Therefore, she is a witch, and they must burn her.

Marshall tries to take you back to these dirty times, but his film comes off as more of a Monty Python and the Holy Grail rip-off. The plague and witch hunt scenes ring of Eric Idle and his “Bring out the dead!” cart, and cries of “Burn her!” remind of John Cleese bringing up very small rocks as things that also float in water.

As a period piece, it fails because of the goofy art direction, bad wigs and terrible line readings, so the movie never plays as if it is in the moment. It feels like a bad student film by a director who has seen Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky a few too many times.

Kirk is an appealing, decent actress, so watching her exploited in garbage like this is depressing. Marshall’s attempts at horror are pathetic, and the movie just comes off as a vivid display of a director well past his prime.

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