In the 11th century, William the Conqueror committed mass genocide best known as The Harrowing. The warlord Earl Durant killed 100,000 Saxons and allowed him to rule The North with his sons Lord Artus and Lord Romain. Opposing their rule was Norman prince Shadow Walker and the group he pulled together to take fight to the warlords.
Without getting into heavy details, that is the most I can go into the plot without laying out the whole movie. SWORD OF VENGEANCE is directed by Jim Weedon and this is his directorial debut. His filmmaking is in the way of the show VIKINGS mixed with SPARTACUS and a sprinkle of historically based entertainment. Every scene is very cinematic, but can be equally as gritty to show the barbarism of the time period.
There is a lot of violence and blood splatter with all of the hand-to-hand combat. A lot of the scenes made me think of the cut scenes in video games. There is slow movement with slow zooms on the actor’s face or their armor. Stanley Webber plays Shadow Walker and he pretty much a bad ass, tearing through the people with vengeance. He has the looks of a battle-hardened warrior and he carries it well. Annabelle Wallis plays Anna, his female counterpart. She is merciless and cold as a warrior. The actors in this movie are believable, but they are a bit flat. There is little character development, so it makes it hard to really care about their issues.
Stanley Webber as Shadow Walker
Edward Akrout as Romain
Misa Beric as Marin
Peter J. Chaffey as Lucan
Gianni Giardinelli as Artus
Annabelle Wallis as Anna
The detailing on the video looks excellent in a 1080p AVC encode. As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of close-ups on the armor and people’s faces, showing the detailing and grittiness of the warriors. The images are clear, but there is a grain in the film to make it not look overly processed. As for the skin tones and coloring in general, everything is in a grey, almost colorless hue. It completely washes out every color except the flames that may be dancing from a torch. In some instances, this also washes out some of the faces without skin tones to give the skin any texture. For the most part, the blacks are dark and inky, but they don’t wash out the details in low light. There is some minor blocking and artifacts at times, but it’s inconsistent.
Most of the audio from the movie is dialogue or the sound of combat. The track is a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix that is about a little better than average. There is not a lot to it because the most common sounds are sharp clanging and the sheathing of blades or the score. The speakers in the front and center get the most use with the dialogue, but there is some ambient noise. The bass gets used the most with the drums and battle scenes. It gives you the feeling like the ground is shaking and revs you up for battle. Otherwise, it is the treble that gets the most use.
-Interviews with Producers Rupert Preston and Huberta Von Liel / Director Jim Weedon: These are interviews with some of the people involved with the movie.
-Behind the Scenes: This featurette is a quick behind the scenes of the movie.
1 Blu-ray Disc
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0
SWORD OF VENGEANCE is a movie with a paper-thin plot, but it delivers a lot of action. The Blu-ray looks pretty good with the intentional look that the filmmakers were going for. The only big issue is the faces get so washed out at times that the details are lost. The audio is about what you might expect with decent highs and heavy bass for depth and presence. For fans of the gritty, violent films from this time period, this is definitely for you.