“Mythica makes its mark.”
While this fourth entry in the Mythica series is certainly flawed, I have to confess, I found it hugely entertaining. There’s a very strange Mad Max vibe present here, and no small amount of steampunk influence. But despite (or, perhaps, because of?) this, I still enjoyed the most of the series to date. It’s basically a feature length chase sequence, beginning with heroine Marek (Stone) and her two sidekicks ambushing a powered wagon, on which is being transported the fourth part of the DarkSpore. This must be kept, at all costs, from falling into the hands of the evil Szorlok, as he already has the other three. They succeed, picking up a zombie princess in the process. However, they then have to transport it to a secure location, while under attack from:
- Szorlok’s trio of undead warrior minions. Fortunately, Szorlok himself is otherwise engaged, having been yanked through a portal into another dimension by
Obi-WanGojun Pye (Kevin Sorbo), where the two duel using their magic.
- Owner of the wagon, Admiral Borlund Hess (Eva Mauro), is miffed at the hijack, and ambushed them from her airship and squadron of attack hang-gliders (like I said: Mad Max meets steam-punk).
- A mercenary crew is also after the DarkSpore. Their employer wants to barter it with Szorlok, who currently has the titular headwear, which allows the owner to rule over the dwarfs.
Oh, and we also hear about the Hammer of Tek, a legendary, long-lost weapon that can destroy anything… even the DarkSpore. File this away for future reference, it may be important later, and should be quicker than a trip to Mordor, anyway. So plenty going on, and it’s more or less non-stop, beginning with a 20-minute action sequence which sets a fast-paced tone, that barely lets up thereafter. It’s largely a light-hearted contrast to the darker, almost brooding, atmosphere hovering over part three; not entirely a bad thing, since even the most serious of legendary sagas benefits from a slice of levity. It’s perhaps not the kind of style on which you could found an entire, mythic universe (unless your name was Terry Pratchett), yet as a one-off, I haven’t enjoyed a fantasy film this much in quite a while.
There are still a couple of mis-steps, such as a woeful attempt to depict pilots from the attack hang-gliders dropping into a shallow lake. I’m also concerned about how death appears to be not much more than a minor inconvenience. People are returning from the grave rather too often – frankly, once is too much, for a loophole I’ve hated since the episode where Buffy Summers came back to life. I know fans and creators get attached to characters, but if you kill someone off, then bring them back, what’s left in the way of threat? On the other hand, you can argue it’s not entirely out of character in an entry that’s likely a bit of palate-cleansing before the grand finale of The Godslayer. Suspect there’s not going to be much amusement to be found with that title.
Dir: John Lyde
Star: Melanie Stone, Jake Stormoen, Adam Johnson, Ashley Santos