Forbidden Kingdom (2014)
Early 18th century. Cartographer Jonathan Green undertakes a scientific voyage from Europe to the East. Having passed through Transylvania and crossed the Carpathian Mountains, he finds himself in a small village lost in impassible woods. Nothing but chance and heavy fog could bring him to this cursed place. People who live here do not resemble any other people which the traveler saw before that. The villagers, having dug a deep moat to fend themselves from the rest of the world, share a naive belief that they could save themselves from evil, failing to understand that evil has made its nest in their souls and is waiting for an opportunity to gush out upon the world.
Each character in this movie — down to the smallest one — is an individual rather than a type, prone to spontaneous changes of mood and sometimes amusing outbursts of pettiness or ill humor.
Unshakable, witty and deeply felt, the film will be paying emotional dividends for a long, long time.
I enjoyed watching this film and would recommend other to give it a try , (as I am) but this movie, although enjoyable to watch due to the better than average acting fails to add anything new to its storyline that is all too familiar to these types of movies.
Watching it is like watching the spectacle of a class clown at their best: you laugh at their jokes, instigate their defiance, and "ooooh" when they get in trouble.
FORBIDDEN KINGDOM is another big-bucks Russian fantasy flick that descends into lengthy and repetitive action scenes featuring plenty of CGI augmentation but not a lot in the way of voice or character. The film feels more like a Hollywood flick along the lines of VAN HELSING or I, FRANKENSTEIN than anything more distinctive. It's supposedly an adaptation of a famous Gogol story but is about as far from that as you can get. The underrated Jason Flemyng plays a traveller who heads off to a Romanian forest to find himself battling a malignant demon. There's one decent set-piece involving a headless creature attacking our hero but otherwise it's all rather predictable and gets tiresome about twenty minutes in. Charles Dance has a small role and is always welcome, but there are one too many over-the-top Russian characters in support.
"Viy", a.k.a. "Forbidden Empire" is a fantasy film with a confused story about a British cartographer that flees from England (actually from his future father-in-law) expecting to raise a fortune in the East to marry his beloved girlfriend but finding a cursed place. The film has wonderful special effects but is hard to be followed since the pretentious screenplay is not well-written and is totally disconnected with many plot points. The 1967 film is a Russian classic horror movie and a little gem. However this unnecessary remake is a complete mess and difficult to understand which the target audience is. My vote is three.Title (Brazil): "A Lenda" ("The Legend")
Just in case you didn't know (like me), this is sort of a remake of a 1967 movie. Though as some have stated here and on other places, it's not really a remake or people shouldn't expect it to be one. Whatever the case, this has pretty good special effects in it. The acting on the other hand is hard to rate.Why is that? While watching (in English in this case), you might realize that something is off with some of the actors. I can only assume, but most of them either couldn't speak English or their English was so bad, they had to be synced. And that is very apparent in many scenes. Obviously Jason Flemyng does not have that issue. And if you are a fan of Fantasy Fiction, you will still sort of love this. But there are things that just don't work or are too convoluted ...
I liked the movie. When I was going to see it I had already known that it was not a screen version of Nikolai Gogol's story but "a movie based on it". That's why I was not disappointed as some people who went to the theatre to see just a new version of 1967 "Viy". Because it is not.This new "Viy" took the same legend from the book (based on a Slavic folklore legend), the same characters, the same location - a small Ukrainian out-of-the-way village, added some new characters , CGI (quite good), shuffled everything, sprinkled it with humour (sometimes dark)and eminently suitable music. And as a result, we have an interesting mystic story definitely worth watching.