3.5 out of 10

Release Date: 14th March 2014

Director: Jonathan English (Ironclad)

Cast: Tom Austen, Tom Rhys-Harries, Roxanne McKee, Danny Webb, Rosie Day, David Caves, Twinnie-Lee Moore, Andy Beckwith, Predrag Bjelac with David Rintoul and Michelle Fairley

Writer: Jonathan English & Stephen McDool

Trailer: IRONCLAD 2 

imagesThis unwanted and unnecessary sequel shouldn’t really be associated with the original Ironclad, so tenuous is their link. The only thing the two films share is the same director and writer, Jonathan English. Both films follow the ‘castle under siege’ plot model where all the characters routinely bellow: ‘Hold the WALL!’ / ‘Hold the Gate!’ / ‘To The Keep!’ / ‘I will stay you my lord!’ Like I said regarding the first installment these films are essentially a live action remake of the kids TV show from the early 80s called Clopper Castle, where a bunch of toy knights would just beat the shite out each other for fifteen minutes – the end.

Tom Austen (THE BORGIAS) plays the estranged relative who comes to the imperilled castle’s defence when his family are targeted by some renegade Scottish warriors.  Unknown to his family, he has been ’employed’ by his cousin to bring a ‘Magnificent Seven’ style gang to help him defend the castle.  So lowly is he, he only works for money. The family are made up of a Lord (DAVID RINTOUL – UNRELATED) and Lady (MICHELLE FAIRLEY – GAME OF THRONES), their daughters, Rosie Day (SIXTEEN) and Roxanne McKee (F) and son, Tom Rhys Harries (HUNKY DORY).  Once Tom Austen and his gang turn up there’s an endless battle in which the cast is whittled down to a small number. The End. Just like Clopper Castle.

Ironclad 2 isn’t a complete loss. The action scenes are well accomplished if repetitive and the acting is professional. Old stalwarts like Danny Webb (ALIEN 3) and Andy Beckwith (SNATCH) make a good impression, making slim pickings go an extra few yards.  Every time somebody gets run through with a sword, the same clip of slow motion ribena (ala 300) flies through the air (I swear its an identical clip) and its all accompanied by lots of charging around. There’s a little bit of sex, yet virtually no intrigue as Tom Austen‘s character slow realises his noble calling whilst also getting time to snog his angry cousin (ROXANNE MCKEE). It’s as generic as a carrier bag and because it’s a cheap sequel that has no business taking up space on UK cinema screens, it’s also unwanted. It’s nowhere near as bad as it could have been though. The director, Jonathan English clearly has a passion for these kind of films and the action scenes really work, unfortunately you can’t furnish your film with wooden characters and very, very corny dialogue alone – on the whole, the actors deserved better material than this.

3.5 out of 10 – Competent, yet ordinary sequel that nobody was expecting and nobody wanted. Why was this given a cinema release too when there are so many more worthy films around?



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