“In which Mythica levels up…”
Was it really less than a year ago I watched and reviewed the first two entries in the series? Feels much longer somehow, which probably indicates how little of an impression they made. This is rather better, I think. The special effects have gone from “best not looked at directly” to “actually enhancing the feel of the film,” especially when magic spells start flying. Central character Marek (Stone) is coming into her own, but the increased power poses increasingly difficult moral choices. That’s especially so, because nemesis Szorlok is closing in on his goal, of getting all four fragments of the DarkSpore, which will allow him to unleash an undead army on the world. How far will Marek and her allies be prepared to go, in order to stop him?
Here, however, the quest is somewhat tangential. Fighter Thane is captured by the head of the Thieves’ Guild, and used as leverage, forcing the other three on a mission to retrieve some cargo. To make sure they comply, he sends along his creepy minion, Betylla (Brodie), who uses beetles to communicate with his master. However, Szorlok is lurking in wait, and just when they think they’ve completed their task, and can return to free Thane… We’re back on the main storyline again, and the “Redthorns” (as the team has taken to calling themselves, a homage to the team of mentor Obi-Wan ) may be heading towards a significant reduction in permanent staffing levels. If you know what I mean, and I think you do.
If there is still very much the feel of an AD&D adventure here, the players here seem to be growing into their roles, with a better sense of the relationships between them. Here, the most interesting arc belong to priestess Teela (Posener), who has to decide what matters to her, and where her faith lies on that scale of importance. Particularly toward the end, it’s certainly the darkest in the series, and you get a sense that this is going to be an increasing theme. Shit’s getting real, as I believe they say. Turns out this is now a five-film series, rather than the three I wrote in an earlier review. With one piece of the DarkSpore still left for Szorlok to acquire, I’ve a feeling after this one that I know what the fourth installment is going to involve, setting up a grandstand finale.
I’m not sure if they spent more money here; it does feel more expensive. Either way, I’m a bit more hopeful the film will be able to deliver on what it’s building up to, than after the last installment. New director Smith was cinematographer on those, and brings a suitably epic feel to proceedings, mixing the practical and visual effects into a coherent whole. I found myself sufficiently enthusiastic to head straight into part four, with more anticipation than I’ve felt to this point.
Dir: A. Todd Smith
Star: Melanie Stone, Jake Stormoen, Nicola Posener, Philip Brodie