PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Rise of the Shadow Warrior Review

Review: Rise of the Shadow Warrior / Cert: 15 / Director: John Lyde / Screenplay: Jason Faller, Kynan Griffin / Starring: Danielle Chuchran, Richard McWilliams, Paul D. Hunt / Release Date: July 29th

This is the sort of film in which the plot can be best described by counting off who and what’s in the cast list, rather trying to discern some sort of logic to it. It contains a mysterious elven bounty hunter, a dwarf with gadgets, a horrible curse, orcs, a dragon and the now mandatory presence of undead monsters.

Rise of the Shadow Warrior looks really good for a low budget fantasy movie. One of the great things about the success of World of Warcraft and The Lord of the Rings has been that high quality, low cost props are now easily available, and by throwing in a touch of CGI you can have a low budget fantasy movie that actually looks like it’s set on another world, rather than in a forest in Canada. The dwarves look nicely steampunk, the orcs look like they’re on their way to win a Fellowship of the Ring cosplay event and the dragons look like great big flying lizards, rather than a letdown.

Is it a good movie? Not really. Osombie actress Danielle Chuchran plays a convincingly mysterious elf but mostly the performances are overplayed, mistaking volume and exaggerated movement for emotion. The characters aren’t that interesting and the plot gets way too mixed up in itself to actually make much sense. That said, the action scenes are very well done and many of the scenes are framed beautifully. Just when you think it’s going to get dull, something happens to pick up the (very uneven) pace and you find yourself interested again. This almost makes it the perfect movie for a night-in with friends; there’s enough going on on-screen to keep people entertained, but the story isn’t strong enough to prevent people from interrupting the movie to have a conversation or sort out a pizza order.

This low budget movie (which also goes by the name of Dragon Lore: Curse of the Shadow) makes a jolly good effort at world building and fantasy adventure. It’s a bit of a pity that it’s dull and uninspired, but fans of fantasy B-movies such as The Book of Vile Darkness will certainly find this to be similar fare. If nothing else, you can always turn the sound down, play a heavy metal album over it and have the pretty set scenes run on in the background.

Extras: None

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0 #2 Sunil 2016-09-03 14:40
I was actually quite impressed by this. The story was cohesive and the sets and costumes and locations done brilliantly. Yes its a hobbit style formula, but for a low budget it interprets the genre very well. I even got a lump in my throat at times as I really bought into some of the characters and their relationships . The best acting were definitely the orcs. It's not perfection, but then who could expect that at the budget it was made on, but the key thing is that you can watch it again and discover something new. A keeper
0 #1 ian barton 2013-07-30 19:12
this films fight scenes must of been done in a school playground with 8 year olds. falls before being struck etc. poor low quality music. cheap looking orcs.
dull script. 95% miss rate on arrows, bombs kicks and sword blows.
excellent blue contact lenses tho.

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