Posted by Rampant Coyote on January 16, 2017
I may have to watch Mythica: The Godslayer, the 5th and final film of the indie fantasy Mythica series, another time to figure out how I feel about the film. Since the idea of watching it again is appealing to me, I guess that’s a pretty good indicator. Actually, I want to re-watch the whole series again, but finding the time for 8 hours+ of film might be a challenge.
So… Mythica. A low-budget indie film studio made an epic fantasy film series that feels like a pretty cool D&D campaign. Modern technology has made it so a film that would have cost tens of millions to make back when I was a kid can now be done for under a million. The crowdfunding they did for each project went primarily into the post-production work, and this final movie in the series made more in crowdfunding than the previous ones … on the order of $130k. I expect this is because the crowdfunding campaign came after the release of the third film (Mythica: The Necromancer), and that one pretty much kicked all kinds of butt, setting a high water mark for what Arrowstorm could do.
The film series follows a bunch of misfits (of course) in a fantasy world who band together originally for profit, escape, and to do some good. This leads them into conflict with necromancers who are seeking pieces of the fossilized heart of an ancient lich-king (a Sauron type). They also torque off a few other powerful folks, including the guildmaster of thieves. Marek, the wizard of the group, has a particular problem in that she is a natural-born necromancer. Her powers are significant, and sometimes necessary, but they often exceed her control and can lead her to evil. Her potential is so great that she becomes a personal interest for the evil Szorlok, the one gathering the heart pieces (called the Darkspore), beyond the fact that she and her group have won victories against him.
The fourth movie was a somewhat comedic action-adventure romp that ended with the heroes negotiating a minor victory in light of the villain’s triumph. This final chapter starts out a few weeks later, and it’s pretty much full-on angst mode with the party split between two pretty desperate quests… protecting humanity in the face of Szorlok’s now-godlike power, and trying to find the one item that might defeat him before it is too late.
Gamers will certainly appreciate the fact that our little adventuring party that was running away from orcs and barely tackling ogres in the first movie are to the point where they are directly dealing with gods at this point. They’ve leveled up. The vague visions from on high and minor cleric powers from A Quest For Heroes have given way to up-close and personal conflicts and negotiations with divine or semi-divine beings at this point. Our heroes are full-on badasses now, for all the good it is with the world getting destroyed all around them.
One thing that I liked was that these heroes are the only ones left who have any chance of standing up to the Necromancer, yet even with direct intervention by a goddess and one of the most powerful artifacts in the world (and hot on the trail of another), they still don’t know what they are doing. Marek constantly second-guesses herself, and in spite of her supportive companion, the truth is… she’s at least partly right. As they point out in one argument, even with the one artifact that can now defeat their foe, it’s not like the necromancer is going to let them walk through his army, come up to him, and give him a love-tap. Even as powerful as they are, they are way out of their league and have only half of a plan.
That’s pretty much as it should be.
For the most part, I thought the special effects in this film were some of the best so far. The extra money was well spent. Scenes in a particularly fantastic location at the end of the film didn’t turn out as well… this was a new effect for the filmmakers, and I didn’t think they turned out as well. All-in-all, a mixed bag, but I appreciate that they were shooting at a further target this time around.
I think the performances of the principle cast (the four adventurers) were the best of the series so far, or close to it. They had some meaty material this time. This film hit a bunch of backstory elements that I really wish had been better sprinkled throughout the series. You learn more about Marek’s and Dagen’s history, and the relationships between the characters grows a lot more complicated. Great stuff, but it’s almost too much to get packed into this final film. However, in some cases, it’s unavoidable. Thane’s love interest took on a MAJOR change in the last couple of films, and what seemed almost straightforward at the end of the last film is proving far more complicated, and this was the only film to show that… but there wasn’t enough time. It feels like we needed another film between 4 and 5 to cover some of this territory.
Another criticism I’d level at it… and I apologize for being a little vague here, but I’m trying to avoid getting too spoilery… is the whole climactic actions involved in the subtitle of the film… the slaying of said gods. But the nature and threat to the gods is kinda… vague, yet its a key point to the movie. While it’s trite to have the big red pushbutton or a countdown timer of some kind, without something like that the villain’s ultimate plan is kinda wishy-washy. He says what he needs – for reasons, I guess, and once he obtains it he must wave his hands around in his tower for a little while summoning lightning for an indeterminate amount of time to achieve his goal. That’s not too satisfying.
These are more than quibbles. They don’t wreck the film for me, but they probably hold it back from its potential. That’s unfortunate, as there’s a lot I really loved about the film. It will likely be a solid second-place favorite for me.
Still, it’s a solid conclusion to the series. It’s definitely a conclusion… the story is over, and the characters and world have irrevocably changed. It’s done, and finishes with a bang in The Godslayer. I’ve gotten used to getting to see a new Mythica film every six to nine months that I’m a little sad the series is over.
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