At this point, the only thing standing in the way of James Callis's acting taking final control of him and destroying the entire world/strangling everyone to death like Lord Akira is his nemesis, the evil sorcerer Arkadian, who uses the mighty Manga of Death (and/or Book of Beasts) to crown himself King of the Butterflies MURDERFLIES:

His ability to summon town-slaughtering harmless insects, and then the same two or three ineffective mythical creatures over and over from his 800-page tome of ultimate power, is surpassed only by his ability to level sick burns against a captive and mostly helpless Merlin. Maybe he's keeping the Book of Burns inside his Book of Beasts so everyone will think he's making up fresh insults off the cuff. His favorite and most ineffective minion is Medusa, whose standard stone-turning gaze seems to depend on the phase of the moon, her mood at the time, and whether daylight savings is in effect or not.

But hey, good news for the flunky henchposse following around good old Gandalf Bumblebore James Merlin, which consists of Sir Galahad the Bland and his two delightfully unlikeable weirdo idiot squire-patch kids. The first is the goodly Sir Date of Rapiste, who feels the need to remind us in every other scene how he's about half a broom thistle away from becoming a walking billboard for The other is Tristan--of the Tristan and Isolde Tristans--whose mediocrity with sword, shield, and iteration of character in general are so (un)legendary (not) far and wide that they'd probably inspire Wagner to rise from the dead just to un-write the opera. And those are probably the best things about them. The worst thing went more or less like this:

[on seeing objective, empirical proof of the existence of magic 378 times in the last 12 minutes]

Total Dumbass: Um, I don't know if I believe in this "magic" stuff, guys. Um&

Captain Jack Merlin: Wtf is youse retarded son you just watched me split a zombie in half with fucking lightning boltse [sic]

Total Dumbass: Um, I don't know, I don't know about magic, umm hrflfmmummmdum

Galahad: You yourself were turned into a zombie by magic--and then back again--like 5 minutes ago! We're on a quest to defeat an evil wizard who conjures up mythical creatures from an enchanted book with the help of a second wizard!

Total Dumbass: Ummmmmmumum

Princess What's-Her-Nuts: We're fighting fucking Gorgons right now, in the middle of this conversation, dingbat!

Total Dumbass: Um, ummmmmmmmmm, I dunno, I don't *literally makes out with Medusa*

Nope, doesn't look very magical to us.Led by Princess What's-Her-Nuts, who is the daughter of King Arthur and likes to remind us of that fact every few minutes while making very serious faces, this intrepid A-Team of medieval justice muscle wanders the countryside, seeking out and destroying every poorly conceptualized setpiece fight o'er the land, and occasionally taking compulsory breaks for Ye Olde Charactere Developpemente. Unlike your typical crappy Lord of the Rings medieval brawl where the protagonists kill hundreds of faceless enemy minions before breakfast, our book-hunting heroes prefer to have five-to-one odds in their own favor and proceed to barely scrape by running away from every battle. After all, you really want to drive home the gritty realism of medieval warfare in a movie that opens with paper butterflies kicking a grown man's head clean off.

So the legendary journey continues, as our intrepid fellowship searches for the fabled Lake of After Effects, where legend has it the cursed doubloons have rested for centuries, the very same doubloons they must recover before midnight to save know what, we actually have no idea how this movie ends, honestly There's some stuff about evil chalk circles and all magic being stabbed to death forever, but we couldn't tell you what any of it meant. None of that matters, though, because this is a spectacular movie. It has action*, intrigue**, swashbuckling, high-stakes maritime piracy and doubloon trafficking, and yes, even romance***! And it's a Merlin movie that doesn't quite spike out the saccharine whimsymeter or resort to going all Mark Twain on you with obnoxious time-traveling kids. What more could you want?


**"Which accent will he do next?"

***James Callis making out with his own fake beard for ninety solid minutes.

Special Effects-7
Music / Sound-6

– Garrett "Hydrogen" Neil and Sean "Trillaphon" Neil (@trillaphon)

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