The Scythian – It kills
The story is fit for epic proportions, for the bards to sing songs and elders to tell tales for generations to come. Though perhaps predictable at times, it’s a classic, in the sense of such myths as Jason and the Argonauts or even Odysseus for example. It is perhaps shadowed a little by somewhat forced dialogue at times. I am not entirely convinced though as I’m not that adept at Russian and don’t know how solid or accurate were the subtitles, so the fault may lie in that as well.
Acting seems to fit for the most part. Nothing that feels overly awkward. As they are the men of action, they let their fists and daggers and swords and bows and axes do the talking for the majority of the film. The lead seems out of place occasionally and I can’t put my finger on it why exactly, but it’s really not a that big of a concern because the decent pace will not allow to linger on any particular scene too long.
Visually it has good with the bad. Set design and costumes are on point for the most part and feel authentic, but some the locations seem off. Fighting scenes and camerawork are quite well done, though editing seems a bit flimsy at times and therefore some key moments might fall a bit short. Literally even. Unfortunately it also seemed to be yet another retelling of not just the times when the men were Men, but when ugly was Ugly and beautiful was Beautiful. Which is pretty much every film since the invention of camera. A minor issue of course and most likely goes with the mythic theme, but still.
Music fits well and helps to emphasize the scenes, sound mixing is enjoyable though, and it might be the language barrier again, I think I detected some syncing issues, but it might totally be my own imagination. Otherwise the scenes’ and scenic atmosphere is well created.
The adventure is engaging and despite some missteps, you’ll enjoy the ride. The action is satisfyingly brutal and better than in many Hollywood’s high budget projects. Perhaps mostly because the executives aren’t as greedy to force PG-13 ratings on just to cash in slightly more dough. Irrelevant, but I bet that The Dark Tower, for example, would’ve produced completely different results without these utterly stupid restrictions. But I digress.
It’s not going to be the best film of the year, but you will enjoy it. Perhaps even enough to watch it again sometime, should you catch it from the telly. It is a solid effort. The pace will carry you through before you know it. Perhaps even leaving you longing for more.