WARRIORESS misses out on a higher rating due to production shortcomings
and an overdose of goofiness, but I can't help enjoying this film. If
it's your purpose as a filmmaker to create a pseudo-medieval action
flick with an air of cheesiness on a micro budget, this film ought to
be your model. What it does right, it does better than many flicks with
ten times its budget.
The story: In a post-apocalyptic future, a mighty warrior (Cecily Fay) embarks on a quest to fight a prophetic duel.
If nothing else, I am glad that the movie exists because it provides such an ample platform for lead star Cecily Fay, who is definitely among the top ten unsung film fighters of this decade. As an actress, she's passable, but as an on screen combatant, she positively stands out from her cinematic peers and forbearers. As the lead of most of the 19 fights, she and her unique fighting style stand out in both hand-to-hand brawls and swordfights – displaying impeccable coordination and flexibility. At worst, these matches are passable for their sheer physicality, but at their best, they shine for their long takes and ambitious choreography. Kudos also goes to costars Joelle Simpson and Helen Bailey for their own mighty contributions to these brawls.
I'm pleased that this film has so much fighting to its credit, as it distracts us from its shortcomings. Despite being shot well enough, the flick has that cheap B-movie quality to it, with occasionally interesting locations that are nevertheless clearly public property. Everyone looks a little too clean for this setting, particularly Cecily in her impractical, Frank Frazetta-inspired costume. Dramatic performances are on the good side of hammy. The film features several odd artistic decisions – including the frequent breathy voiceovers – and is clearly set up to accommodate a potential sequel, with the effect that the main villain (Will Brenton) can remain oddly detached from everything else happening in the story.
Nevertheless, the filmmakers successfully impose their own infectious energy on the movie, making it palatable to martial arts fans and lovers of indie niche. I can't recommend this to nearly everybody, but I have a feeling that the people who do like it will *really* like it.
Two powerful female warriors must journey across a post-apocalyptic land to fight a ritual duel, and fulfill an ancient prophecy.
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June 30, 2016 at 9:27 AM