Cast: Adam Johnson, Jake Stormoen, Melanie Stone, Nicola Posener, Robert Jayne.
Director: Anne Black
About: Stuck in a life of indentured servitude, Marek dreams of becoming a wizard. When she meets a beautiful priestess, Teela, in need of help, Marek escapes her master and puts together a team of adventurers - including Thane the Warrior and Dagen the Thief – and embarks on an epic quest to free Teela’s sister from a vicious ogre.
Mythica: A Quest For Heroes is a movie that I've been waiting to see for a few months, and I finally got around to it. And I'm very glad that I did. Mythica is one of the best fantasy movies that I've seen for a while. It's a brilliant blend of action, heart, amazing characters, and a well-developed storyworld.
Mythica: A Quest For Heroes starts off with a rather cliched start - a temple is attacked and a high priestess has to escape with the stone so the invading Orcs and the Necromancer who leads them cannot get it. However, it took a deviation from this usual storyline when the high priestess gets kidnapped by an ogre, so her sister Teela (Nicola Posener) tries to find heroes to help get her sister back.
In parallel with this, Marek (Melanie Stone), a servant girl with a limp and a gift for magic, goes to a wizard's house against her master's will to retrieve an ingredient for her master. When Marek is out after First Watch (more on that in a moment) a man tries to kidnap her and sell her. A warrior (Adam Johnson) saves her, but Marek is eventually captured and brought back to her master. Marek finds the power in herself to cast a powerful spell to escape, then goes to a nearby inn where she pledges her help to Teela. Marek frees the warrior who helped her, Thane, and enlists the help of a thief named Dagen. Alongside Teela, the group sets out to find the high priestess.
Mythica is only 93 minutes long, so I thought that the plot would be too fast or cramped, but it fit the time frame perfectly. Even though the resolution was short, it was exactly what the film needed and showcased the characters well.
Some of the characters fit into semi-cliched archetypes - Teela is a bit aloof, and Dagen is always thinking of himself first, both of which are rather cliched ways of portraying a priestess and thief, respectively. However, the growth of the characters throughout the movie defies this, showing both characters have more depth than they did at first. Marek, however, is the star character of this movie. Above, I said that this movie is The Hunger Games of epic fantasy; that wasn't just because of the wonderful plot, storyworld, and action. Many people love The Hunger Games because Katniss is portrayed as a powerful, independent character. Marek is very much the same way, except I think she has one better quality than Katniss (besides all the cool magic, obviously): unlike Katniss, Marek is willing to listen and learn from other people. Of course, Marek is still rebellious, but Katniss was just stubborn.
Next up is the storyworld. Sometimes in fantasy movies, the storyworld does not seem fully developed. That is not the case with Mythica. There are various races, multiple creatures and even a religion. I mention the religion because many fantasy movies (and books) lack a religion. Religions in fantasy help to add depth to the storyworld, and, in the case of Mythica, created conflict between some of the characters. Moreover, there are laws in Mythica that make sense, and help to deepen the storyworld. A few paragraphs ago, I mentioned something called the First Watch. It appears that as day turns to night, there are a series of curfews (Watches) that restrict certain people. Slaves, who have a mark on the back of their neck, have to be back in their houses by First Watch. I'd imagine that the Second Watch would be the curfew for commoners, and so on.
Finally, I'd like to talk about the animation. I knew that this was an indie movie, or at least a movie made by a smaller company, so I didn't expect too much from the animation. However, to my surprise, I really liked it. Some of the magic was very interesting. It didn't quite look real, but I thought that was part of the charm. One of the beasts in the movie, a wolf-like creature with spikes, could have used a little bit more work when it was running.
However, I honestly didn't mind how Spikey there looked in the end because I thought the ogre looked really good:
Considering that the producers of Mythica probably decided to put more funds into the ogre than Spikey, I think they made a great choice. As an additional note in this section, the makeup they did for the Orcs were great. They looked brutish and not too human, which is the way that they should look. Honestly, I think they were on par with the Orcs from the Hobbit movies.
All in all, Mythica: A Quest For Heroes is a wonderful film that an fantasy fan should look into. You can buy it directly from Arrowstorm Entertainment, or you can do what I did and watch it for FREE on ConTV.com (although there are commercials unless you sign up for a VIP account). I entirely recommend this movie. Here's the trailer: