Growing up, I loved the old myth-based films such as Jason And The Argonauts and Clash Of The Titans and, when I plumped to review Sinbad And The Minotaur, this month I thought I was getting a classic movie newly released on DVD; that’ll teach me for not checking out the film details first, eh?
The introduction to Sinbad (Manu Bennett), as he steals a map revealing the location of the lost treasure of Minos, sets the scene for some of the most ham-fisted acting you are ever likely to witness. Firstly, Bennett’s attempts at a gravely voice in every sentence grates like nails on a blackboard, and worse still, each actor and actress follows suit to give the impression that everyone in BC Arabia spoke in sinister undertones.
In order to ensure that we can distinguish the bad guy in all of this evil sorcerer, Al-Jibar (Steven Grives), the man from whom Sinbad has stolen the map, speaks with an even more sinister timbre augmented with what sounds like an east end gangster accent. Freakily, Al-Jibar looks like a baldy Alice Cooper. Compounding this is the quite awful dialogue. In the opening 20 minutes Sinbad dismisses his men’s concerns six times with a wave of the hand and the muttering of the word ‘details’, as if to accentuate the lead man’s laissez-faire attitude to danger. He’s so brave.
In respect to the story itself, Sinbad is on the hunt for the golden head of Colossus that so happens to be located on the island of Minos, a cursed place where a Minotaur runs free in a labyrinth and the locals are all cursed by the long dead King Minos’ greed; they are the stuck somewhere between being wannabe Minotaurs and half-cocked zombies. The script pushes the boundaries of storytelling with almost each character introducing themselves and their purpose verbally, ‘I am Timos, son of etc, I do such and such in this village.’ I have rarely seen a film where the classic mistake of telling rather than showing is so prevalent.
What makes all of Sinbad And The Minotaur’s flaws all the more incredulous is that the cinematography is very, very good. The lighting, atmosphere and general production values, aside from the CGI-created Minotaur, stand up really well to most low budget equivalents. The Minotaur looks like a bull with CJD and foot and mouth disease – which pretty much sums up this film.
DVD extras are quite scarce, just a trailer for anyone masochistic enough to sit through it.