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SINBAD AND THE MINOTAUR
DVD region 2. Chelsea Films.

Sinbad and the MinotaurAhh, good old Sinbad. A movie staple from the early days, made popular by Ray Harryhausen and several imitators in films of variable quality, and last seen - if I'm not mistaken - in a short-lived TV series pitched at the Hercules / Xena audience. Now he's back in a film that will appeal to anyone who watches SyFy movies on a regular basis.

This time, Sinbad (here played with ridiculous intensity by Manu Bennett from Spartacus: Blood and Sand) is in search of the head of the giant Colossus of Rhodes - an ancient solid gold statue that has been lost for over a thousand years. He raids the camp of fiendish sorcerer Al-Jibar to steal the ancient scroll naming the location of the head, making off with a kidnapped princess en route, and quickly sets sail to a mysterious island where a lost tribe worship the Minotaur. Al-Jibar and his men are hot on their tail though, and before long, Sinbad is battling the sorcerer, his unkillable henchman, a village full of horned maniacs and a ridiculous looking CGI monster.

Not a film for those who like to think too hard (no-one explains how Sinbad knew Al-Jibar had the scroll, or how the sorcerer knew where Sinbad had sailed to), Sinbad and the Minotaur for the most part dispenses with niceties like character and story development in favour of non-stop fighting, with a bit of torture thrown in to spice things up. This isn't such a bad thing - part of the problem with so many SyFy films is that they take forever to get to the only reason anyone is watching (ie big, stupid monsters), but here it's pretty much all go. At times, it feels like a lengthy trailer for a movie, stripped down to the bare essentials, and so while terrible by most normal cinematic standards, the film certainly isn't slow or dull!

Whether that is enough to compensate for the hammy performances, poor special effects, ropey dialogue and cliched characters will depend very much on what you expect going in. Accept the film for what it is - a gleefully dumb popcorn movie mix of action, gore, cleavage, machismo and monsters - and you'll probably have fun. And to be honest, if you bought this and seriously expected anything else, then more fool you.

Best watched with a few mates and a few beers.

DAVID FLINT

BUY IT NOW (UK)

 

 

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