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Ironclad

Canadian Premiere

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Official Selection, ActionFest 2011

Screening Times


“A ripping yarn capably told... unflinching brutality and ruthless realism” — Mark Salisbury, TOTAL FILM

“The realities of medieval combat are rammed home hard... this isn’t a film that pulls its punches” — Jez Sands, MOVIE VORTEX

Credits

Director: Jonathan English
Screenplay: Jonathan English, Erick Kastel
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Kate Mara, James Purefoy, Brian Cox, Jason Flemyng
Producers: Rick Benattar, Andrew J. Curtis, Jonathan English
Print Source: Alliance-Vivafilm

Synchro

Description

In the mood for a rousing, brutal, period adventure flick with clanging swords and flying severed limbs, all drawn from the gritty pages of history? Look no further than IRONCLAD, a medieval MAGNIFICENT SEVEN that combines the visceral, stylized action of 300 with the impassioned heroism and romance of BRAVEHEART. IRONCLAD is an ultra-violent action yarn that tells the true story of a motley crew of tough, battle-hardened warriors (lead by MANHUNTER’s Brian Cox and ROME’s James Purefoy) who withstand several grueling and deadly months under siege in a desperate bid to defend their country’s freedom. Main nemesis: England’s notorious human rights-violating King John (2010 Best Actor Genie winner Paul Giamatti, cast against type as the ruthless baddie), allied with an army of merciless mercenaries (the “pagan Danes”). Trapped in their castle stronghold with food and supplies dwindling, our band of 13th-century underdogs (a baron, a Knight Templar, the romance-yearning lady of the castle) does their best to persevere against terrible odds…

While medieval-style adventure stories are all the rage these days (cable’s GAME OF THRONES and CAMELOT; last summer’s Fantasia hit CENTURION), IRONCLAD stands above the pack thanks to its sterling cast of top British talents (Cox, Purefoy, SNATCH’s Jason Flemyng, GAME OF THRONES’ Charles Dance, stage royalty Derek Jacobi, etc., as well as the beautiful Kate Mara from 127 HOURS). Better still, co-writer/director Jonathan English smartly avoids making IRONCLAD a phony CGI fest. The copious amounts of blood and gore were created live and on-set by FX artist Paul Hyett (DOOMSDAY, THE DESCENT, ATTACK THE BLOCK). We see bodies cleaved in half, limbs hacked off, skulls cracked open, all without a drop of computer-generated splatter. We’re talkin’ old school here. Likewise, veteran cinematographer David Eggby (MAD MAX, BLOOD OF HEROES, PITCH BLACK) knows how to shoot exciting fight scenes, with stunt coordinators Richard Ryan (SHERLOCK HOLMES) and Béla Unger (UNDERWORLD) earning praise for IRONCLAD’s amazing swordplay and testosterone-fueled tussles. But despite the nonstop battle scenes, English and company never lose track of IRONCLAD’s human element and the common man’s enduring struggle to keep those nasty dictators in line.

—Tony Timpone

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