That Awkward Moment

That Awkward MomentThat Awkward Moment stars Zac Efron. It’s mainly about three guys dating and the resulting stories surrounding this. As the title states, you can be sure the dates won’t go smoothly!

Jason (Efron) is in a relationship but doesn’t take it as seriously as his girlfriend and wants to end it. Then you are whisked back to the beginning as Jason explains how he reached his decision to call time.

Enter his two wingmen Daniel (Miles Teller) and Mikey (Michael B Jordan). They go out, go to a bar and get girls and each of them deals with the relationships formed their own way. This involves a lot of bedroom shenanigans thereafter.

To me, the whole movie was just an excuse for undressing and getting in-between the sheets. Not really movie gold. The plots were plain and predictable. Mikey leaves his wife, Mikey meets wife, wife tells Mikey he isn’t daring enough so Mikey and wife sleep at her workplace. Really?

Now let’s have a type of farce going where the guys have to keep their relationships secret, lest they break the pact forged to remain single. With such epic plot lines and a massively sumptuous script, I’m surprised more actors/actresses didn’t try to muscle in on the act. I thought I’d seen all the plot lines, I really did.

How are three best friends who see each other everyday supposed to keep secret they are in love? Okay, some of the resultant storylines means some separation of the friends. But why would you keep things from your best friend? I didn’t really find the way it was done amusing or intriguing. The whole point of the movie was not to admit you’re in a relationship?!

The one I feel sorry for is poor Zac Efron. He deserves better to be honest. Stuck with two lumps in some cheap version of the male half of Friends. Man, somebody has to give his guy a break and give him a real story – not a whose sleeping with who oddity!

The whole thing was just confusing; I still don’t see the point in starting in the future, then going back. Why not start from the beginning? There are far too many shows and films like this; frankly, it’s getting a little old. Did Cinderella start with her in the castle, saying to the audience; ‘Now let me show how I got to this castle.’ No, you saw her life before and her rescue.

I can’t low score Zac, I just can’t. Not Efron the man! Therefore, I’m giving 6/10 for bravery and hopefully it lead to better things for him!

Image reproduced from
Trailer reproduced from Cieon Movies

Dead Simple

Peter James' Dead Simple - Belgrade
Dead Simple is a play based on the book by Peter James. It stars Jamie Lomas (Hollyoaks), Tina Hobley (Holby City) & Gray O’Brien (Coronation St).

It’s a very creepy tale indeed. A stag night prank goes horribly wrong for Michael Harrison (Lomas), his mates decide to pay him back for all the dreadful pranks he’s played on them, by locking him in a coffin overnight. The lid will be nailed on and he’ll be lowered into a plot, covered with a loose material. He will have a breathing tube of some sort through the lid. He’ll also have a walkie-talkie so he can only talk to them. (And they can taunt/tease him as well.)

However after they carry out the deed, his mates are involved in a car accident and no one else knows he’s in the coffin. His girlfriend Ashley (Hobley) is very worried and his best friend Mark (Rik Makarem) is out of town on a business meeting.

A young chap Davey Wheeler (Josh brown) finds the friends’ walkie talkie near the crash site but he has learning disabilities so when Michael begins speaking to him, Davey doesn’t fully understand the situation and thinks Michael is playing a game.

The police are called as a missing person’s report is filed. And the police chief (Gray O’Brien) uses a psychic on the quiet to help him. Trying to keep her secret from his partner DS Branson (Marc Small).

Davey is Michael’s only hope of reaching someone from the outside and getting him out of the coffin before he starves to death!

This play was outstanding, the stunts were well designed for a theatre floor. I loved the way they did the coffin and there was glass panel, which only showed when the stage was darkened a light was lit inside.
The sets were simple but easy to move around as needed, so you weren’t distracted by lengthy furniture shifting.

Jamie Lomas played the part of Michael so well, a desperate man caught in an impossible situation. I felt his distress at being alone and then finding someone to talk but with time ticking away!

Tina Hobley was the prefect choice for the girlfriend, she can be nice or horrible at the flick of a switch. Now that’s scary! One minute you would think, ‘she’s lovely.’ and the next ‘Run!’

There were plenty of twists and turns in the plot and you find it’s not just a stag night prank gone wrong, someone in the shadows is manipulating events for a very dastardly deed.

The only thing I wanted was more interaction from the psychic that the police chief was using. I felt she didn’t get enough stage time to convey her talent. It felt rushed and in the end she didn’t do a great deal. More than once I felt like someone could’ve shouted, ‘I could’ve told you that mate!’

The officers were a bit like Keystone cops and were very slow. But I think a better relationship/chemistry might’ve made the slowness better. Sadly you can’t fast forward the slow bits.

Despite the gripes, this has to be a 10/10 from me. A wonderful cast and some powerful emotions displayed in the telling of this story.

Image reproduced from Belgrade.


Kingsman - The Secret Service by Source.
Kingsman Secret Service is another comic book adaptation but this is a clever way of introducing a new angle onto a ‘James Bond theme’. Secret Service films have a lot of pressure to be individual and not be compared with the mighty Bond.

I think this does this well. Gary Unwin ‘Eggsy’ (played by Taron Egerton) is enrolled into the secret service and trained to take down a terrible villain – with the usual mad plan for world domination!

Before he joins Gary is simply existing and life is very boring indeed. He has not stuck at jobs and doesn’t know what might fulfil him. When he gets into a big pickle he calls a number that’s on the back of a medal, that was given to him when he was little.

This is how he meets Hart aka Agent Galahad (Colin Firth) and gets involved in the service. He has to see off the competition in training and then there was two. He doesn’t secure the last place, Roxy (Sophie Cookson) does.

Interim the mad villain Valentine (Samuel L Jackson – Mac Windu!) steps up his plans. People get blown up. But Hart is made of sterner stuff, even when injured he’s still going!

But ultimately for Gary to be a true Kingsman, he’ll have to dig deep, suffer huge losses and tackle the formidable Valentine. The question is can he rise to the challenge?

This film packs a punch and breathes new life into a tried and tested formula. That’s no easy feat. All the cast gelled and the partnerships also made the film very enjoyable.

A few rough edges to smooth in the performances, but the bar has been set and I am hopeful there will be sequels!

8/10 from me. I’ve rarely been so surprised by a film and it’s nice to know you can never tell.

Taron has a very bright future ahead of him if the Kingsman films are made regularly (one very few years like Bond).

Colin proves he still has the magic touch by bringing another inspiring performance. He’s so different in everything he does.

And Samuel is always wonderful whether playing the good or bad guy.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia (Poster by Source).
Trailer reproduced from 20th Century Fox.


Foxcatcher stars Channing Tatum (The Eagle, Step Up, The Vow, GI Joe & many more!), Mark Ruffalo (Avengers Assemble) and Steve Carrell. Look out for appearances by Sienna Miller and Vanessa Redgrave.

A movie focusing on a particular sport is like a sword. It can be very sharp or not strong enough to cut even sponge! It depends mainly on the storyline and what you’re focusing on.

This is a film based on actual happenings; where a wealthy man hires Olympic champions to help train upcoming wrestlers.

Mark Schultz (Channing) needs to find his own way, as people notice his older brother David (Ruffalo) more than him. He can’t seem to get ahead as his brother has already done it! Now an offer from a Mr DuPont (Steve Carrell) might be the lifeline he needs.

So DuPont gives him bed and broad in exchange for training upcoming wrestlers, then Mark gets an offer to join DuPont’s wrestling team.

Mark wants his brother to come, but David declines putting his family first. Mark excels and is soon getting some decent rewards for his labour. However they start dabbling in drugs. Then Dupont reveals his tragic past, his distant mother.

Then Dave arrives as Dupont chases him to join. Poor Mark goes alone and he’s afraid his brother will be more successful again.

And so and so on and so on…

The movie started out well but by the usual sorry tale of maternal unlove and drug use, it was getting a little preachy. I was hoping for an epic drama but alas all I got was a headache. The plot just boxed itself in. Not really giving us a true story worth watching, but more a like a TV drama that concentrates on the negatives.

If this was a true account all I can say is what a very sad tale. But I don’t got to the movies to see Eastenders on the big screen.

Perhaps Channing wanted to do a ‘serious’ film, hopefully that’s the only reason he wanted to do this. Ruffalo probably chose it to stop people shouting out ‘HULK – Smash!’ (Like that’s going to work!)

3/10 from me. Now I’m off to the shops for some retail therapy!

Image reproduced from IMDB.
Trailer reproduced from Movie Trailers.

The Equalizer

The Equalizer - Film
The Equalizer stars Denzel Washington. It’s based on the TV series that starred Edward Woodward. The character of Robert McCall remains, however it appears to be a reboot. The basics of the TV show are followed, McCall helps those being bullied turn the tables.

McCall is moved to intervene when he sees a young girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) being controlled by her pimp. He doesn’t stop with her pimp but ends up targeting the whole gang involved. He’s a one man army whose boiling mad!

He goes all out to help her and it makes you wonder why he goes to such lengths. Is he helping her or satisfying a lust of violence and dispensing rough justice?

The trouble I had in watching this movie, was that it’s very samey to those Steven Segal film I had to endure years ago. Lots of fighting but you never quite knew why you were watching it. Late night channel surfing has drawbacks!

I missed Edward Woodward’s portrayal. This film was too modern and I didn’t like it. Denzel doesn’t suit a bald look either, he looked ill and hardly a threat. There wasn’t any pizzazz for me, nothing new. I really don’t know why they had to remake another 80s show.

It’s very difficult now for any vigilante theme as there’s so many contenders. You have the TV series Arrow and The Flash. The gadgets and fight scenes are so pumped up, it’s very difficult to do something new. The bar is high and this film did not deliver for me.

Dispensing justice has to be handled responsibly and you can’t really have someone who enjoys bashing the bad guys and blowing them up! Most heroes offer an ultimatum before annihilation! And not just once. This McCall was just as bad as the villains! How can you back someone like that and root for them?

I’m giving this 5/10. It was okay but so is a cheese sandwich. If a sequel gets made, let’s hope they make a CGI Edward Woodward – the REAL Equalizer!

Image reproduced from
Trailer reproduced from World Movie Trailers.

Captain America – The Winter Soldier

Captain America - The Winter Soldier
Captain America – Winter Soldier was an entertaining movie. It all began with a run in the park, meeting a paramedic. Playing catch up as Steve Rogers/Capt America (Chris Evans) can jog 33 miles in 13 minutes!

Steve has a list of things to do as he‘s been frozen for over 50 years! However, it isn’t long when he is called in for duty. A ship is going off course, it’s owned by his agency SHIELD. Have pirates invaded the ship? He doesn’t need a parachute and can jump from the plane to the ship, using his amazing shield to protect himself.
He’s teamed up with agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). Who wants to find him a date.

A battle starts as they engage the enemies holding SHIELD personnel hostage. When Natasha uses the mission to download Intel off the ship’s computer than save hostages, Steve guesses something is up.

After a meeting with his boss, Steve meets up with his former sweetheart Peggy, who’s now an old woman. There’s an entire exhibition about Capt America and his old uniform is preserved. He sees pictures of his former best friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). He meets up with the paramedic he met at the park, who holds meetings for people to talk about their feelings.

Director Fury (Samuel L Jackson) looks into the matter Steve raised and asks for a Project Insight to be delayed, he’s soon targeted for assassination! He has a very cool van packed with some very cool technology!

Steve has a neighbour, who he fancies but the interlude is cut short. Director Fury is hiding out at Steve’s apartment! Before they can really talk, the flat is subject to gunfire. Director Fury is hit. He hands Steve a USB, tells him to trust no one. Steve’s neighbour breaks in and reveals she’s a SHEILD agent assigned to protect him. Steve goes after the hit man, who has a metal arm and wears some type of gas mask. After an epic fight, he escapes.

The Secretary of the State (Robert Redford) takes over the agency and when Steve won’t tell him what happened, he declares Captain America a threat, forcing him to go on the run and be a fugitive.

This movie packs a wallop and a half. Witty dialogue, surprise twist and great CGI. I just love all the actors in their roles and there’s no short of thrills. I love the banter between Steve and Natasha, and they have many good interactions.
The fight scenes were astounding. Natasha must have the coolest mobile phone! Moreover, one of the shock twists at the end was mind-blowing.

The only things I didn’t like was, it preachy at certain times.
Stockpiling weapons = fear.
Rich people = megalomaniac.

In addition, some of the twists do seem to be questioning the SHIELD agency itself. As there is a weekly TV series on called the Agents of SHEILD, casting shadows on the very organisation that powers this show, could cause damage.

Surely, the audience have to believe in SHIELD as our saviour that’s why it was created in the first place! The old adage of not befouling your own house springs to mind.

I’m giving this 8/10 as a result.

Spoiler alert!
(You have the see this movie just for Jenny Agutter’s fight scene!)

Image reproduced from Edgecastcdn
Trailer reproduced from Marvel Entertainment.

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake - The Lowry
Matthew Bourne‘s Swan Lake is a different take on the classical ballet. I was very happy when I was able to get a seat to see this. The difference between this and the classic is that men portray the swans.

A young Prince (Simon Williams) has led an ordered life but his mother The Queen (Saranne Curtin) cannot show her love, this is the cause of angst for him. He becomes entranced in his dreams, where the swans appear which enable him to feel some relief from his life.

The torture of the Prince was visible. Even more so when the lead swan (Chris Trentfield) in his dream, seems to be the son of a very important man in reality. The Prince tries to talk to him but is rebuked. Furthermore, the man fancies his mum!

Sending our prince further into despair and imagining the whole place is laughing at him. He begins to descend more and more into his swan-filled world, which ends up in tragedy.

This is one of the best stage shows I’ve seen. The dancers were outstanding. The sets were very clever, in where a bed became a ship; the skills of the dancers to move with the set; and it seem part of the dance I thought was clever. I loved the Swank Bar and the melee that ensued; was both funny and sad.

There’s a princess in pink played by Carrie Johnson who adds some comic touches as she tries to win over the Prince.

The scene when the Prince gets out of bed, attended too by a fleet of maids and valets; was booth amusing and nothing short of a stroke of genius. There was even a toy Corgi dog being wheeled round where it ‘bit’ the Princess. It was hilarious!

The costumes were gorgeous. The palace ball was for me was the highlight. It was marvellously done, with rich touches of furfuran and gold. The mini theatre show in one of the acts was good.

According to the program I bought, there have been a few things that have changed that only the most loyal fans would spot. However, for a first time viewer, it seemed tailored to me and I found no problem following along.

This stage show has been around since 1995 and it’s been worth the wait and the disappointments of not getting a seat. Now all I have to do is see the original Swan Lake.

Please note the dancers do change roles, so I’m listing the ones I saw dancing. (I wasn’t too sure about the Queen though, lots of heavy makeup! So apologies if it’s wrong! The other actress listed was Madelaine Brennan.)

There isn’t a single compliant I have about this production. A splendid outing with lovely music and an outstanding cast. 10/10 from me. Encore!

Image reproduced from The Lowry.

TV Review: Da Vinci’s Demons – The Lovers

DaVinci's Demons, 2013

Titled The Lovers (in keeping with the Tarot-themed titles of each episode), the most recent Da Vinci’s Demons episode is significantly stronger the previous one. Unlike the last episode, the two main plot-lines of the programme (Da Vinci searching for the mysterious Book of Leaves and the political dealings of the Medici family) feel more cohesive and complementary to each other. The show seems to have sorted its crisis of identity; it was previously swinging between magical adventure and family-fuelled intrigue. The Lovers still contains these elements, but they feel far more interlinked. Without spoiling any details, the episode’s climactic ending involves Da Vinci essentially having to choose between following his own swashbuckling adventures and becoming involved in the politics and intrigue that he nothing to do with in the last episode. For the first time, Da Vinci’s Demons has found its balance between the two different things that it wishes to be. The Lovers is filled with interesting character interactions (mostly exposition, but interesting exposition). Da Vinci (Tom Riley) begins the episode by criticising the mysticism of Al-Rahim (Alexander Siddig); firmly establishing himself as a man of reason and not of magic. One could possibly read this as the smallest of references to the historical Da Vinci’s impact on the age of reason. Da Vinci is displayed demonstrating his remarkable intellect in this episode; very different from the previous episode in which he seemingly conjured a diving suit from absolutely nowhere. It is much easier for viewers to believe Da Vinci to be the genius the rest of the characters claim him to be when we get to see his remarkable mind working through problems. A sequence in which he deduces the location of a missing compass is not too dissimilar to BBC’s Sherlock (complete with little white captions floating around Da Vinci’s head).

The secondary plot of the episode continues to develop the double dealings of the Medici and Pazzi Florentine families. Hoping to secure a lasting peace between them, Lorenzo Medici (Elliot Cowan) intends to marry his brother to a Pazzi daughter. His plans are scuppered by the actions of Laura Haddock’s Lucrezia, who continues to pursue her own objectives regardless of what stands in her way. At times, the constantly shifting political allegiances and strategies can become confusing unless one is paying attention. At one point, a character seemingly shifts his loyalty despite having little reason to do so. Later in the episode, a character that was teased to be dead miraculously appears alive and well… and is then promptly murdered. It is hard to deduce whether the writers lack direction or if they’re attempting the mimic the “political intrigue means that any character can be killed off at any time” formula that Game of Thrones has managed so well. The episode is certainly not without its problems. Blake Ritson continues to act like a pantomime villain in the role of Riario; he has even donned a pair of ludicrously anachronistic sunglasses just to emphasise how evil he is (as if the costuming dept of the show agree with Ritson that Riario should be ridiculous). Many of the episode’s other performers are underwhelming and seem to appear just to remind the audience that they exist. The mythology back-story of the show is also sidelined somewhat which is a pity as it is very interesting. However, despite its faults, this episode is certainly a step in the right direction for Da Vinci’s Demons. The previously binary nature of the programme seems to have been replaced with a more cohesive tone. If it continues in this direction, the show might finally start to live up to its full potential.

Film Review: Stuck in Love

Stuck in Love
Stuck in Love is a film that tries hard to be better than it actually is. The title should have read; Stuck in a loop!

It was very disappointing and it isn’t any wonder the film has had such a limited viewing. Originally made in 2012 and first shown at the Toronto Film Festival, the film is rich in B-list celebs including; Jennifer Connelly (The Rocketeer, 2003’s Hulk), Greg Kinnear (As Good As It Gets, You‘ve Got Mail, The Last Song), Lily Collins (Abduction) and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson).

So that’s why I chose it. Lerman and Connelly are two actors I’m into. The problem is this type of film is being done too much now, the novelty has worn off and this drama brought nothing new to the table. The family at war thread is a very tired format and if used, a new spin should be used.

Connelly plays Erica who traded her husband (Kinnear) in for a younger model. But he still hopes to win her back, this shows as he hopes she’ll come to Thanksgiving every year. Dad is a big novelist but his daughter Sam (Collins) will also be a novelist, her work has been snapped up and Dad is annoyed as he had no input.

Sam’s love interest is Lou (Logan) who likes her but she doesn’t want commitment so she ridicules him in public and then seems concerned when he doesn’t show up at their writing class! Gee, I couldn’t think why. (Actually I could but I was being sarcastic). So she hunts him down. Which doesn’t make sense if you’re a commitment-phobia sufferer. He’s out, she was winning.

You can’t have a character behaving outside the boundaries you’ve established. It’s confusing. An example would be me slamming the door on some Jehovah Witnesses’ then running down the road after them. (Trust me I’m never doing that!) I want to slam the door, so doing an action that would bring them back would be pointless. It would’ve have been more believable if he was brought back into her life by a quirk of fate.

Then the son has a romance and then the mother and father get involved when the son’s romance becomes endangered…

Now this is over plotting! It didn’t need so many storylines. This was the main reason this did not work. What was the purpose of all these struggles?

It weakened the entire film not to construct a sensible branch of intermixing stories. So I’m not surprised the film hasn’t hit the big times as there are no big notes. No dazzle, no sparkles. It doesn’t even deserve to be a straight to DVD release. Even Lost managed better relationships than this.

I give 2/10 for this. Good cast but shame about the film.

Image reproduced from
Trailer reproduced from YouTube / CieonMovies

TV Review: Hannibal – Coquilles


This month, Hannibal was renewed for a second season, which for all its fans across the world was the cause of a collective sigh of relief. This relief comes as it would have been a far worse crime to not have the series renewed then any act of cannibalism performed by its titular character. But if this series is so deserving of renewal why hasn’t it performed in the ratings to demand an obvious return next year? The answer can be found in the episode Coquilles.

Coquilles continues the series pattern of most episodes giving us a new case for Will Graham to work his magic on whilst slowly building up intrigue in the bigger picture which will eventually lead to Hannibal Lector being revealed as the true series villain. It is both a great approach for the series and also a bit of a hindrance. The show is slightly at risk of becoming one of those shows which is better to watch as a marathon on DVD then it is to watch live week by week. We all know that the show runner Bryan Fuller has said that season four would tell the story of the book Red Dragon, and therefore you can guess that season six would show Silence Of The Lambs, and that after all this build-up those seasons will be amazing. Unfortunately there lies the problem; we’re having to wait too long for the pay off.

The episode started with a sleepwalking Will Graham and really started to add to the idea that as good as Will is at his job, he pays quite the mental toll for doing it. This plays in perfectly with his growing relationship with Hannibal and will make their interactions when Hannibal is behind the muzzle that much richer, but whilst this slow burn is extremely exciting and intriguing for fans of Thomas Harris’s books and the previous adaptations of his works, the casual fan perhaps feels they’re not yet getting enough of the promise of a series based around Hannibal the Cannibal. The subtle hints are great and the attention to detail that Mads Mikkelsen brings to Hannibal are fantastic. The care in which he serves and eats food is so telling of what the character will later become, and the way his keen sense of smell was explored as he sniffed Crawford’s wife Bella was very eerie in its execution. These elements are great at laying the groundwork for the bigger picture, but a whole episode they do not make.

The main focus of the week was our hero’s search for a killer who would slice his victims up to resemble angels who he would position around his bedside to watch over himself as he slept. This made for a very memorable image worthy of any of the famous scenes in the film adaptations, but overall the angel maker killer didn’t get enough screen time for you to really care about his unseen suicide towards the episodes close. Also unless I missed something I’ve really no idea how the guy was supposed to have killed himself by slicing himself up to become an angel as he had done to his victims. This however is a minor gripe and on re-watching the episode an answer may make itself apparent.

It’s a shame that a character like this couldn’t have been granted a longer story arc over the series as it could have proved even more memorable if there were more and more angels being created and popping up through the season. Overall this episode was good, but not great as a standalone experience, but still very good in building up the much bigger picture that is the unexplored pre arrest days of everyone’s favourite cannibal.

Image reproduced from

TV Review: Da Vinci’s Demons – The Hierophant


In its seventh episode, titled The Hierophant (as each episode is titled after a Tarot card), Da Vinci’s Demons continues to be a mostly enjoyable if not bafflingly inconsistent programme. The show possesses an almost binary nature; being both a drama rife with political skulduggery (in the spirit of Game of Thrones or The Tudors) and a high fantasy swashbuckling adventure. Sometimes the dual plot lines of the show complement each other well; sometimes they do not.

In this most recent episode, there is something inherently off-putting about watching scenes of Tom Riley’s Leonardo Da Vinci battling the Pope’s agents in the depths of the Vatican intercut with sequences showcasing the political intrigue of Florence’s eminent families. Whilst the two narratives are very much connected in the plot of the episode, they feel so tonally disconnected from each other that it can become difficult to believe that they are taking place in the same television show.

The episode’s main plot continues to follow young Da Vinci on his quest for the mysterious Book of Leaves, a document supposedly written by the children of angels (or so it appears; the mythology of Da Vinci’s Demons is not particularly well explained). Oddly convinced that an ancient key he requires is hidden in the Vatican archives, Da Vinci constructs a prototype diving suit and enters the Vatican via its complex sewer system. Once inside, Da Vinci takes James Faulkner’s Pope Sixtus as a hostage and commands him to hand over the mysterious key. However, whilst this entire adventure narrative is progressing, the episode keeps cutting to the political machinations of the Medici and Pazzi families.

The problems with the episode are the problems of the entire series so far; inconsistency. Beyond the aforementioned tonal shifts between the two plots, there are many other aspects of the episode (and the show in general) that feel shockingly uneven. The performances range from excellent to cringe-inducing. James Faulkner plays the pope in a wonderfully understated manner, imbuing the character with a sense of control and dominance in each of his scenes. Even when he is held prisoner by Da Vinci, he acts as though he is in control.

Similarly strong performances are delivered by Elliot Cowan and Lara Pulver as the conniving Medicis. Tom Riley remains a charismatic and likeable lead; even if it is a stretch to imagine that his character is supposed to be a young Da Vinci. However, other actors are so incompetent that their scenes are almost painful to sit through. Blake Ritson’s villainous Riario is one of the most bombastic and campiest antagonists currently on television.

It is a sign of Ritson’s ridiculous overacting that the scenes in the episode featuring Da Vinci fighting off soldiers with the magic spear of Jesus are less absurd and overblown than the scenes of Riario cackling like a cartoon bad-guy.

On the subject of the magic Jesus spear, another serious problem with this episode is its inability to commit to being either set in a historical reality or within a fantasy reality. Whilst some programmes balance historical fiction with fantastical elements carefully and credibly (Game of Thrones feels like it could have actually taken place in human history despite having dragons and magic present), this episode feels like a pendulum swinging between a fantasy show and a historical drama.

This is the greatest problem with the episode and with all of the episodes so far; Da Vinci’s Demons has no defined identity. Whilst The Hierophant delivers in swashbuckling excitement and political intrigue, its lack of a defined style can be extremely frustrating. Ultimately, the episode is only enjoyable if you don’t think too carefully about it.

Image reproduced from