When last we left our heroes a crippled necromancer, a rogue, a barbarian called Wayne and a cleric had joined together to rescue a bunch of priests from an evil bald guy and a cave Troll. They succeeded and so went to the pub. However we managed to set up a lot of interesting things. Where did the dragon eggs come from and what are they going to with them, who won the boxing match, why was Kevin Sorbo in this picture? Today we shall answer none of those questions and more in
We open on the second smallest stone henge I’ve ever seen where a lone traveller sets out to solve the mystery once and for all. Wait turns out it’s just a stargate. He steps through where he finds Smaug slumming it after his star turn in the Hobbit. Our lone wizarding hero steps forth and raises a long purple shard up to the heavens. It seems he will dominate the dargonkin and bow it to his will when Smaug gets bored and eats him. Thus begins our movie.
Then the movie worries that you might not recall the epic events of the last picture and so gives us one of the most confusing flashbacks ever, incorporating every thing that has happened between then and now, for all those who thought our valiant party would be taking off on quests to storm towers and probe dungeons could not be more wrong.
We see that the important bits of the last movie were ‘Merica‘s growing powers and all the UST in the party. Oh and something about an owl, there is a lot in this flashback about an owl. Since their victory last movie however, the Cleric’s sister has died, she has not turned up to games nights while she sorts out the funeral arangements and Wayne has turned to drink. Like really turned to drink. I’m not quite sure what has happened between the two but in the two weeks since she’s been gone he has become the kind of person Norm and Cliff would look down on with disgust. He is getting on ‘Merica’s nerves so she takes off and the Rogue who had all but confessed his love for her last movie decides to go buy some prostitutes. I’m not quite sure what is going on with him this movie, it seemed we spent all last picture trying to get some sort of arc going for him where he becomes less of a self centred douche and now he’s worse than ever. I mean he’s still the best character in the group but seriously, major douche.
While he works through their only lead to the next part of the quest, mid three-way, our favourite cripple necromancer has run off into the woods. That’s the Rogue mid three-way not ‘Merica’ btw.
Here she runs into our friend Kevin Sorbo who seems to pop up with his home made bivvy made from apparantly every green leaf in the immediate area. So after stripping the woods bare Kevin is here to tell us that he was a bit of a sexist pig last time, offer some exposition about his ghost busting days and his ride through the land of green screen before offering to train her in the ways of the force. And his first act as her mentor, teacher and friend is to leave and not come back.
Come on Kevin there’s no need to storm off set, I know things aren’t going great at the moment, sure they’re looking at brining Xena back and all you can get is work in Smite, I mean it’s not exactly dota or Lol is it but still there’s no need to leave like that.
But still no need to worry because the Rogue has cracked the riddle and summons the group together for one more adventure. How does he summon them you ask, by writing a message on a whores backside. No joke.
Now knowing that the evil wizard Ziplock is on their trail the party the must hurry to the city of giants. No there shall be no actual giants in this movie. But they are not alone, not only is an evil blad wizard storming toll roads without paying the charge but the pimps guild is sending out elven prostitutes to track down ‘Merica’. I mean I know that hookers are kind of their thing but I don’t think you should use them for everything, don’t be afriad to reach out to other guilds guys when things get out of your hands guys. Oh speaking of elves did you know that the Rogue is an elf, well a half elf, because I didn’t. But sure enough he is, we find this when we locate a half naked, very muscular “dark” elf who they manage to free from an evil band of faries. Still could be worse, could be a tree.
Their first job, according to Wayne is to find him some clothes, I assume this riveting side quest is being saved for the directors cut because the next time we see them, out in the middle of nowhere he is fully dressed. Anyway it turns out that the Rogue is slightly racist because he doesn’t trust him and decides to illustrate this to be people by singing slightly racist songs. Like I said he’s a bit of a douche this movie though it might be because the Dark elf is making eyes at his sort of girlfriend. Heck when ‘Merica’ comes to break up the fight between them she slips into a sex fantasy of the guy.
He shall be filling the shaman role of the group, or the noble savage trope if you’d prefer, you can tell he is a savage because he has tattoos and an extreme amount of hair gel.
Anyway the party carries on trying to locate the bits of rock that once made up lord zip-locks heart, hiding off the road from black riders, casting spells without realising they are A.O.E and battling R.O.U.S.
But is is any good. Well the first thing you will probably notice is that this is far more “epic” than the last which translates to a lot more walking shots. Other than that it’s about the same though I will say they seem to have paced the budget for the special effects a bit better this time. Not that they’re what you would call decent yet. Oh their make up work’s still good but the special effects are still somewhat cringe worthy. Such as one snow shot about halfway through. You see they are based out of Utah, hence the long sweeping desert shots, however for this movie they seem to have saved up enough pennies to fly to Canada or Norway and shoot there for a bit. The problem is the minute long transition shot where they badly Photoshop some snow onto Utah, it only lasts a minute or so on screen but it will stick with you.
See Arrowstorm have the kind of Jurassic Park problem, they are so busy thinking whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should and this above all else is what is going to keep the studio from hitting the big time. Let’s take Steven Spielberg and Ed Wood as our two ends of the spectrum. If we watch the ride of Kevin Sorbo through the land of green screen Ed would turn round after one take and say, that’s great, next shot. But as we saw on Jaws Steven will turn round and call something out as bad and ask if they can’t do better. When told that not on this budget or with this tech he then comes up with a way around it, thus we got a suspenseful classic instead of another by the numbers monster feature. Could we not have had some scenery porn (I know I keep calling out the walking shots but still) while a nice orchestral piece plays over the top?
The banter is still there and decent enough, keeping the party going with Wayne head over heels for the cleric and the cleric not trusting ‘Merica’ and the Rogue being a bit of a douche. There seems to be something later on that suggests there might be more to this though I could be misinterpreting the scene and god knows I don’t want them to go back and expand it to make it a bit clearer. See most of these kind of movies run the hour and twenty to hour and half mark, this runs for about an hour and forty-five and it feels like it. For some reason they feel like they have to stick about ten to fifteen minutes on the end of the movie that don’t really do anything. Oh sure they are trying to tie up plot threads they set up earlier in the movie but personally I would rather they just dropped them. Without trying to spoil the end you get a lot of yes, then no, then yes again in that last fifteen minutes or so.
That’s not to say the movie is bad, well not is relation to the first, unlike say Asylum pictures Arrowstorm is not here to trick you out of your money but only to make the kind of enjoyable b- movie fantasy romps that they want to see and this is defiantly that. If you enjoyed the first then come back for the second, if you didn’t enjoy the first then stay clear from now on.