Publication: The Stranger
Author: Kiley, Brendan
Date published: March 23, 2011
Language: English
PMID: 59135
Journal code: STRR

BLACK DEATH

Hoo-boy, what a stinker! Somewhere in Europe in the 1300s, while everybody's buboes are swelling and bursting, a small group of mercenaries and soldiers (with a skinny, meek monk for a guide) go looking for a village said to be safe from the plague. Why? Because they've turned away from God and some demon-lady necromancer protects them. Sean Bean and his band of torturers and soldiers slowly make their way through an increasingly blasted landscape, say menacing things to each other, and occasionally hack somebody's face off. The story is simple, the pacing is slow-with little bursts of histrionic action and dialogue-and the writing is ridiculously stilted, portentous, and cheesy. "Be on your guard-God has slipped over the horizon," intones Sean Bean (taking a major step down from his role as Boromir in the LOTR franchise). Once the traveling sausage party gets to the village-where they do crazy shit like use lots of herbs and have a lady for a leader-things get a little Wicker Man. But only a little. And there's no Nicolas Cage running around, howling and punching ladies in the head for comic relief. Just Sean Bean and the boys, waiting for their death scenes to be over and their paychecks to arrive. (BRENDAN KILEY) Egyptian, Fri-Sat midnight.



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