1215. Having been forced to sign Magna Carta, King John (Giamatti) imports Danish mercenaries to punish the barons who humiliated him. William de Albany (Cox) recruits Templar Thomas Marshall (Purefoy) and a band of rebels to defend the strategically important Rochester Castle against the King.
Like all sieges, this offers moments of choppy terror and excitement followed by dull sit-it-out-and-starve spots. Straddled between uproarious schoolboy tosh and serious historical movie, this still offers enough dismemberments, royal tantrums and portcullis-rammings to make for a lively Saturday night out.
Reviewed by Kim Newman
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