Sword Of Vengeance, film review: Dialogue is sparse in this historical revenge drama

(15) Jim Weedon, 85 mins. Starring: Stanley Weber, Annabelle Wallis, Ed Skrien, David Legeno, Karel Roden
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The Independent Culture

The director Jim Weedon shows a fair amount of visual style in this historical revenge drama, set in muddy England not long after the Battle of Hastings during the so-called "harrowing" of the north.

Dialogue is sparse. Like Nicolas Winding Refn in his Viking movie Valhalla Rising, Weedon is always striving for transcendent poetic effects at even the bloodiest moments. Sometimes, this descends into absurdity. (When someone is run through with a sword, the director will cut away to a slow- motion shot of the blade coming out of the other side of the victim's body.) The more characters talk, the weaker the storytelling becomes. The main character (Stanley Weber) is a lone avenger with a post-punk haircut, out to redress an ancient family wrong, regardless of the devastation he will leave behind him.

The ritualised action sequences work well enough. It's just a pity the film-makers did not pay as much attention to the plotting as to the design of the movie.