A tyrannical king reigns over his kingdom with an iron fist, but there is hope. A prophecy foretold long ago states that a boy will rise up against the oppressive regime and lead his people to the promised land of Promethea. This is the action-packed journey of one boy that sparks a rebellion that ignites a vicious clash of wills between king and commoner, where only one group can emerge alive and victorious.
You can tell the size of a movie’s budget by how many scenes are shot in the forest. If the directing, writing, and lighting are done well than it isn’t a problem. Only, those aren’t usually any good in small fantasy films. And Journey to Promethea is no exception. Much of the movie is shot in the forest, and while it’s beautiful and really lends itself to a fantasy movie, it’s not enough to make up for the rest of the movie. From the renaissance fair costumes to the terrible fight scenes it’s just one issue after another. The forest should be the least of your worries.
If you’ve watched or read any kind of fantasy in your life before, don’t go into this movie with hopes of seeing something new. The plot will not surprise you in any way. This movie would have been great for introducing kids to the fantasy genre except for some scenes that I’ll go over later. Not only is the story simple, but the dialogue is so generic that I still can’t help but feel like this should be a kid’s movie. I can’t describe it. While I was watching it, I just kept thinking “wow, this sounds like every movie ever”, and not in a good way. There is some world building, with the prophecy and the history of the two nations who are at odds, but the delivery is so bland that it’s not engaging.
Equally non-engaging are the characters. I know I keep saying this but it’s the best way I know how to describe it; the characters felt generic. The main character is the annoying farm boy who thinks highly of himself and is the chosen one… sound familiar? The lead female character wasn’t annoying, but she was just there following the story through… and so the main character had a love interest. You know, the usual. And just to be clear, Billy Zane is not the main character. I’m sorry if that’s why you wanted to watch this movie. He’s the villain, and no only does he not have a lot of screen time, he doesn’t get any kind of backstory or development. What screen time he does have is spent yelling and brooding/whining, with the occasional humorous moments. I’m not mentioning any of the side characters because other than one random character from a side story, nobody has any development.
Above I mentioned that Journey to Promethea could have been a great introduction for kids. That is, except one of the very first scenes shows the villain with his harem. There isn’t a scene with Billy Zane in which he is not surrounded by women. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, just that it doesn’t match the rest of the movie. If this doesn’t seem like a big deal, later in the movie one of the villain’s henchmen gives orders for his soldiers to rape one of the side characters. Not in so many words, but most people should be able to figure out what he meant. When the rest of the movie is so lighthearted, these scenes just stuck out to me. In a darker movie they would have worked and helped set the tone, but it just leaves this movie unsuitable for either audience.
There are more things that I could talk about, like the special effects or the acting, but at this point they wouldn’t help even if they were great. This is a movie that you’d watch only if you’re like me and just want to watch every fantasy movie. Or if you’re just a really big Billy Zane fan. I don’t like putting fantasy movies down, but this is an example of why people think so lowly of fantasy movies in general. It’s just not a good movie. But if you like movies you can laugh at, then give it a shot.
Also, tell me this doesn’t look like The Waif from Game of Thrones.