Far in the ancient past, the malevolent Raven Lord rose to grip the people of the land in an unending dark dream of war and death. It was only with the appearance of a champion of light, grasping a sword of unearthly power, that the evil one’s reign would be brought to a sudden end. The hero vanished into the mists of legend but his weapon remained, passing from hand to bloody hand. As much a curse as a blessing, the blade came into the guardianship of an honourable clan of warrior nomads, and to this day, they protect it from those who might have dark designs on its martial power. Those like the treacherous, power-mad King Bohan.
But if King Bohan is a reawakening of the Raven Lord’s evil, who will be the hero against the rising darkness, the one prophecied to take up the Heavenly Sword again? The signs point to fierce redhead Nariko, daughter of the clan leader, but her fellow tribesman scoff at the idea — a woman? Ridiculous. Only the nimble, crossbow-toting orphan Kai is on Nariko’s side. The guardians of the sword will need to put aside their conflicts however, for Bohan’s terrible army is on the horizon…
The most anticipated game-to-film adaptation of the year has arrived, and you’ll find it at Fantasia first! Ninja Theory’s massively popular action-adventure title for PlayStation 3, released in 2007, at last lights up the big screen with its cinematic incarnation. The continuity is solid — Anna Torv (TV’s FRINGE) reprises the role of Nariko, divinely ordained wielder of the legendary weapon, and the storyline remains faithful to the game’s internal universe. Alfred Molina (Doc Oc in SPIDER-MAN 2!) and Thomas Jane (THE PUNISHER) add further star power to the credits, but the true star is thrilling hand-to-hand combat, dynamically delivered in an exquisitely realized fantasy realm that so many will find rewardingly familiar!
— Rupert Bottenberg