14 January 2004 | unbrokenmetal
Arnold Vosloo gets the best role
The defenders surrender and open the gates of the castle. Their enemies are riding into it. Only one person is left to fight them, a woman about 40 years old with a broadsword in her hands. The leader of the enemies, a huge guy in black armour, looks down upon her and says: `I've never seen such bravery and foolishness.' She is staring at him, ignoring the whole army behind him, and replies stonily: `I'm going to kill you, Grekkor.'
Great idea to open the movie with the final confrontation, as it makes every watcher curious. How did these two characters get into such a situation? The rest of the movie is a flashback which explains why it had to happen. Cheaply produced in Lithuania, `Warrior Angels' is a movie with pros and cons. On one hand, the idea to make Elisabeth, a woman over 40, the central character, is brilliant. Instead of the cute princesses you know from countless other fantasy movies or those Charlie's Angels (remember the title!) kind of girly fighters, we are introduced to a tired, but very experienced fighting lady here who goes into her last battle for personal reasons, trying to rescue her abducted son. The cast is marvellous. First we have Rutger Hauer as Grekkor (he looked old to me for the first time but then I realized it was 20 years ago I saw him at the cinema in `Blade Runner', so I wouldn't mind him saying the same about me), a villain with a cause, not just evil for the fun of it. He explains how his land was taken from him and he wants to use the time while the king is abroad to steal it back. His motivation for the kidnapping of Elisabeth's son is plausible as well, since he wants to teach a boy how to become a warrior, which his father never did for him, he thinks. Second, we have Arnold `The Mummy' Vosloo who gets the best part. A permanently drunk loser at the beginning, he becomes Grekkor's right hand man, but then realizes he may be on the wrong side, so he thinks a lot over his loyalty, his duty, his inner feelings, torn between despair and reborn courage not a plain cliché role at all! Last not least, we get a team of 4 ladies when Elisabeth teams up with a huntress, a thief and a witch. Their totally different characters make the movie entertaining.
On the other hand, `Warrior Angels' makes a few mistakes. Every historian will burst into laughter at the introduction of Elisabeth as a woman who has been fighting as a knight in the crusades with Richard Lionheart. Just like Ivanhoe or Robin Hood, they are trying to give her a certain historical background. Now, a woman as an equal fighter in a Christian army didn't even exist 1890, let alone 1190. The writer must have watched too many Xena episodes and thought female warriors are a normal part of life in the middle ages. They should have omitted that reference to the year 1190 and make `Warrior Angels' a timeless fantasy movie. Also I wonder why the villain is named Grekkor, not George or James, as he is supposed to be British. Where did he get that typical fantasy name from? Apart from these inconsistencies, I also wonder why the people of the towns around (who outnumber Grekkor's bandits by far) never attack him. The movie simply suffers from the budget limitation, I suppose, hence there are a few not so spectacular battles and obviously cheap set design. Nevertheless, I think `Warrior Angels' is definitely a better choice than `Amazons And Gladiators' for example, since there are good actors involved and a couple of original ideas along the way. Voted 7/10.