Virgin Territory

Virgin Territory

*

Reviewed by: Darren Amner

Reading the press release for this film, on paper it had a striking appeal. Starring Hollywood Hotties Mischa Barton (The OC) and Hayden Christensen (Star Wars) as the leads and with Tim Roth in a villainous role it had potential. Throw in a cutting edge soundtrack which included the likes of Blur, Pete Doherty, Basement Jaxx and The Kills its not hard to see what target market this film was aiming towards. For those that enjoyed the American Pie franchise this is Medieval Pie.

Virgin Territory is a 14th century Italian period adventure with a twist, using a contemporary feel to drive the story, which is largely redundant.

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A beautiful princess (Barton) is left alone and broke when he parents succumb to the plague. Capitalising on her misfortune is Gerbino de la Ratta (Roth), a sleazy pantomime-style villain who pressures her to marry him to escape financial ruin. Enter a mysterious stranger, Lorenzo (Christensen) sworn to win the heart of his fair maiden and triumph over his arch nemesis de la Ratta.

The thread-bare plot really is simple as that. The dire-logue is so insulting to its audience it's a wonder the cast agreed to star in it in the first place - 20 minutes in I'd had enough. Littered with sexual innuendo that is about as funny as drowning kittens you know that the ride your'e undertaking is going to be a bumpy one. It's a shame because Barton and Christensen do have some onscreen chemistry and the fight scenes at the film's climax are pretty good. Shot in beautiful locations, the camera work is static when it should be sweeping and epic, making for a lumbering mess of a film.

Roth must have signed on to this film as a means of getting a free vacation in Italy because he does little more than turn up.

This film aims to be provocative and provide an insight into life, love and sex, however, the final product only shows how bad some American films have been of late. Matthew Rhys - as a Russian count - is the only character in this film with any bite, with his humour and accent raising a smile.

"Rousing, epic, adventure" are words used throughout the press material to describe the film. "Dull, uninspired and unimaginative" are words more fitting to sum it up.

Reviewed on: 29 Aug 2008
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Virgin Territory packshot
A young buck in mediaeval Italy tries to rescue his love from the clutches of a dastardly Tim Roth... at the same time as avoiding the plague.
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Director: David Leland

Writer: David Leland

Starring: Hayden Christensen, Mischa Barton, Tim Roth, Ryan Cartwright, Christopher Egan, Craig Parkinson, Simone Spinazze, Jay Villiers, Diego Guerra, Ruffo Riccardo, Clive Riche, David Walliams, Riccardo Merra, Silvia Colloca, Chiara Gensini

Year: 2007

Runtime: 97 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US, UK, France, Italy, Luxemborg

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