Fantasy Romance – Movie Review
Always Together, Eternally Apart
This film is one of those old, slightly campy favorites that has held up surprisingly well to the passage of time. Produced in 1985, Ladyhawke is part comedy, part tragedy, and propelled by a strong romance well-deserving of your time. With a runtime of 2:01, you’ll be treated to some definite 80’s music, a bit of action, and adventure as Captain Navarre (Hauer) seeks a way to be reunited with his lady love (Pfeiffer) or else to gain vengeance for the cruel way in which they were separated.
Lending a main focal point to this tale, we have Philippe Gaston, a.k.a Mouse (Broderick), a young thief who is set to be executed at the start of the film. After a daring escape from the dungeons of Aquila, the semi-godless, often sarcastic Mouse finds himself on the run from the Captain of the Guard, Marquet. Naturally, he flees to the countryside, where he is in short order found by the guards and almost recaptured.
Fans of Rutger Hauer will be pleased to see him in Ladyhawke, one of his best roles from the 80s. Tall, very blonde, and looking mighty dashing with his cape and gorgeous horse (the aptly named Goliath), Hauer brings Captain Navarre to life on the screen. His portrayal of the tormented former Captain of the Guard, hellbent on revenge no matter what the cost, is spot on.
For his part, Broderick’s petty thief Gaston has no desire to take part in Navarre’s quest for vengeance. He’s a smart-ass, and a self-confessed coward who is most concerned about maintaining his own skin. In this respect, the young Broderick plays his role well, though at times some of his dialog borders on just too modern sounding. Still, after some cajoling, some threats, and finally an encounter with the very beautiful Isabeau (Pfeiffer), the little Mouse gets with the program and becomes an indispensable ally to these star-crossed lovers.
With Leo McKern appearing as Imperius, the monk who inadvertently betrayed Isabeau and Navarre, and John Wood as the morally degenerate, corrupt Bishop of Aquila, the supporting cast also portray their roles believably. Ken Hutchinson plays Marquet, the Bishop’s new Captain of the Guard after Navarre was sent into exile, and he also delivers a realistic performance. A handful of other cast, notably an evil hunter and a pair of backstabbing peasants, round out the rest of the film nicely.
Though some of the special effects are ridiculously dated, the cinematography flows smoothy and the scenes transition well. The 80s soundtrack aside, you shouldn’t have any problems immersing yourself in this fantasy romance film. So grab yourself a copy of Ladyhawke today, and enjoy!