29 June 2003 | BaronBl00d
Far-Out Tale Involving Sinbad
Okay, the story for this film, already stated to some length, is obviously weak. A prince turned into a chess-playing baboon is taken to the Artic to go to some mystical land, Hyperbalia or something like that, so that he can resume his former shape. The legend basis of this film is almost non-existent as we see a pyramid at the the northern-most part of the world that is guarded by an ice-covered sabre-tooth tiger. Hmmm...okay, Ill buy. In the process of this "world", we see images of Egyptian, Indian, and even Greek deities abounding throughout. Boy, what travelers all these folks were! Story notwithstanding. This film is fun if not ridiculous. Patrick Wayne easily makes the weakest and least-interesting Sinbad. An in-grown toe nail oozes more passion. The female leads are "fleshed" out with Jane Seymour and Taryn Power(daughter of Tyronne Power). Seymour has moments that show her ability to act; Power has no such moments. The real plusses come from supporting players Patrick Troughton( a former Dr. Who) and Margaret Whiting as the evil Zenobia, foil to Sinbad and his baboon-changing-back-to-prince plans. Troughton plays Melanthius, the wisest man on earth, yet makes one inept, incredibly stupid mistake after another when the ship is visited by Zenobia ala gull. Watch and see if his actions make any sense to you. Troughton CAN act though and brings some much needed life to the human cast of the film. The real joy of the cast is Whiting playing this thickly-accented evil persona chewing up as much scenery as she can. Watching her hobble about and use her eyes was a real hoot! But like any other Harryhausen film, the "real" cast takes a backseat to the animated ones. The film definitely has a weaker array of creatures for a Harryhausen film, and no one stand-out creature, but there are some good ones like the gold Miniton(minitour), the sabre-toothed tiger, and the Trogolyte, a creature that exudes a great deal of emotion for a figure such as this. The giant walrus was a bit lame as were the creatures created out of flames by Zenobia in the beginning of the film. Harryhausen and Producer Charles Schneer still deliver some good action and effects amidst the very, very weak script(co-written by Harryhausen), the mediocre direction of Sam Wanamaker, and the listless performance of Patrick Wayne.