Film Review: Medieval

There has been a lot of blood spilled over the course of the history of Europe, but children rarely learn about events which took place outside of national borders unless they have a direct impact on their country. The Middle Ages, from the fall of the Roman Empire until the Renaissance, were particularly turbulent, brutal and murky. During the late 14th and early 15th centuries, there were two Popes who vied for power and authority. This is the backdrop for Medieval.

Wenceslas IV (Karel Roden) is king of Bohemia and Roman emperor, but his reign has been far from successful. His weakness threatens to bring everything crashing down around him and strong men, including powerful nobleman Henry III of Rosenberg (Til Schweiger) have begun seizing land. After most of his family is murdered, a knight (Jan Žižka – Ben Foster) vows revenge. However, when he kidnaps his nemesis’ fiancé (Sophie Lowe), they fall in love and he has a difficult choice to make.  

Medieval is an epic mix of bloodthirsty swordplay and historical drama which features a number of familiar faces. Indeed, the cast, which includes the likes of Michael Caine, Matthew Goode and Roland Møller, is the highlight of Petr Jákl’s film. As is the action which is loud, ferocious and plentiful. Medieval does suffer from trying to squeeze two different films together though, and whilst entertaining and engrossing it does dilute itself in the process.

Medieval is released in cinemas and on demand in the UK on 28 October.

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