Runtime: 92 minutes
Director: John Lyde
Starring: Melanie Stone, Kevin Sorbo, Adam Johnson
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Final Score: 8.5/10
When a team of unlikely heroes hijacks a steam-powered battle wagon, a daring young wizard (Marek) steals the final piece of the all-powerful Darkspore and embarks on a desperate quest to deliver the cursed artifact to the gods for safe keeping; but when they are caught in a death race between a ruthless team of elite mercenaries and a trinity of demons, Marek must learn to believe in herself before her friends are killed and the Darkspore is lost, to stop the evil necromancer (Szorlok) from uniting the Darkspore and flooding the living world with his legions of undead.
We start off the movie with the hijacking of a battle wagon; a chase scene begins, and that’s the rest of the movie. There is a small subplot that does join back up at the end, but it takes very little time away from the rest of the movie. It’s a simple plot that’s kept entertaining by introducing different obstacles periodically. Overall it has a lighter tone than the previous installment of the series. The banter between all the characters is light hearted. The villains are not all pure evil, they’re either just doing their jobs or just insane. Despite some steampunk elements the movie succeeds as an adventurous fantasy movie.
This movie does not have much down time, so any character development must happen quickly. Short scenes are scattered throughout and are enough to show the characters reacting to everything happening around them. At least for the heroes. The villains are shorted again with very little development. They get some quick lines to bring them into the story but nothing more beyond that. The relationships between the main characters are what is focused on; they argue and banter, disagree and stand together, and by the end make decisions that will affect the story. And this all happens during one long chase scene.
This is how action should be done. Steady cameras with the combatants always in view. Sure, you’ll notice more mistakes and fake strikes, but it beats not seeing any of the fighting at all. Considering this movie is essentially one long action scene, that’s important. We’re also given more fighting with magic as well. Nothing too original, it’s your average spell throwing contest, but the characters and locations spice things up so it doesn’t get boring. Rounding off the action is the fact that a lot of this happens while half the characters are riding on a steampunk battlewagon while being chased by an airship.
The special effects for the Mythica series have been getting better with each movie and The Iron Crown is no exception. Magic is used constantly by multiple characters using different kinds of magic and it flows seamlessly. There are parts where it doesn’t look as great, but this only happens a couple of times, and mostly with magic related to fire. The other big effects are the airships. There is one large ship with numerous smaller gliders and they all look great with just a few moments that aren’t quite as good. And while it’s not a special effect, it is in fact practical, the war wagon needs a mention here as well for how nice it looks.
The biggest problem with the designs of this movie are that it introduces steampunk elements. Some will love that element, where others may denounce any technology in their fantasy. That being said, the designs for everything are great. Because the movie takes place mostly on a wagon in the wilderness there are not many sets. The main “set” is the wagon on which the characters ride on throughout the movie. The design for it is cool and the interior shots are just as good as the exterior. Each location that the wagon drives through are also nice and they change as the characters progress through their journey. There is one set that is part of the subplot that is more special effects than actual set that looks okay. But we don’t see it for long.