Sunday, July 26, 2009

Movie Review

TV review, actually. It's been a long time since we've done a review, and there has been much watching of media since the last one. There have been a few Bonzuko favorites in there, but one that has especially good stunt work is showing its first season over again this summer. It's called Legend of the Seeker.

Based on some Fantasy novels by Terry Goodkind, Legend of the Seeker plays on TV like a delightful combination of Ren Faire and a good D&D game. Our triumvirate (Richard the young Seeker, Kahlan the Confessor and old Zeddicus the Wiz) move from one unrealistically clean and diverse medieval village to the next on their way to stop the melodramatically evil Darken Rahl, saving the day each time as they go on. Now this may sound like not a high-quality show as I describe it here, lovely lurkers, but actually this formulaic, archetypical structure is quite pleasing. The script moves from predictable to cheesy to melodramatic, but in a good way, and the acting is actually decent, not only by our main three, but all the extras we encounter each episode. And it's sexy, but in a family-friendly way.

Of course, the main reason why we at Bonzuko like to watch Legend of the Seeker is its fight scenes. The Seeker is known for wielding the Sword of Truth (which really looks like it was made by Starfire. Anyone know if this is true?), so there are many swordfights each episode. They are all very well choreographed, filmed in a stop-and-slow-motion style that actually (when the channel itself is running smoothly) makes the action easier to watch than if it were in real time. All the actors that fight look like they do a generous portion of their own stunts, and look too like they have worked hard to look awesome as they do so.

The other thing that makes Legend of the Seeker stand out as far as its stunt fighting is the inclusion of female warriors, not as bystanders that may or may not have a vase handy when the bad guy's head gets close enough to her hiding place, but actually fighting right alongside their male counterparts. Kahlan wields not a sword, but a pair of daggers (often reverse-grip. Yeah!) as well as her magic power. But even female secondary characters that get caught up in the Seeker's quarrels are not bystanders but hold their own. I'm reminded specifically of a recently-shown episode wherein the Seeker is handcuffed to a young woman and has to fight several guards to escape. They both use their manacles and unarmed prowess to save themselves. Again, some creative choreography (mainly by Steve McQuillan).

Here's the Season 1 recap from Hulu. Minor spoilers, but you'd be able to predict these "twists" anyway, right?

Anyone who enjoys light, enjoyable fantasy fare and/or good stage combat should catch Legend of the Seeker whenever they can.
Bottom line: **** out of *****
Thanks to this site for the image.

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