Director: Christopher Smith (2010)
Starring: Sean Bean, Tim Mcinnerny, Andy Nyman
The bubonic plague is spreading like wildfire across Olde England. Led by an angry-looking Sean Bean, a crack team of warriors and a wimpy monk take it out on a village full of (semi) innocent pagans. It's like The Wicker Man crossed with Witchfinder General crossed with Blackadder. Whilst the trailer might have you believe it to be nonstop action and supernatural horror, the film is more grounded in faith, existential crises and Sean Bean looking like a moody Eastenders extra. And while we're at it, I find it very difficult taking this man seriously as a villain:
Black Death is an interesting movie, but perhaps a little too serious for its own good. I know there's a bloody plague on, but boring brooding glumness pervades every scene of Black Death. It's like Monty Python and the Holy Grail as remade by Lars von Trier. Only the supposedly evil pagan villagers are any fun, but even that doesn't last long. It doesn't help that the main characters are all dull overplayed stereotypes. Sean Bean plays it angry and his team of warriors are all unlikeable meatheads. It's the worst performance by a semi-talented actor since, well, his turn in The Hitcher. Even the superb Andy Nyman is trapped behind a bit of one-note characterisation and a lack of anything meaningful to do. It's all a bit of a waste. A shame really, since all involved are capable of so much better.