Ah, that hit the spot.
I'm so happy I saw this movie again, and I haven't seen it in years. The first time I saw it was in my english class in high school of all places. Why? I have no idea. And I never saw a fantasy movie like this before or even after, the story is simple but still has a lot of heart and adventuring, the soundtrack is all kinds of funky cool, the film is so unashamedly 80s and I wouldn't want it any other way. Our story follows a young thief Gaston played by Matthew Broderick, who escapes a prison before meeting a mysterious knight Naverre played by Rutger Hauer who requires his assistance to settle an old score. We slowly learn more about Naverre and the hawk who always accompanies him, which is revealed that a curse was placed upon the two of them. By day Naverre is a man, and by night he is a wolf while the hawk named Isabeau transforms into a beautiful woman by nightfall. I really like how it's not a straight up Beauty & The Beast story, that both these lovers are cursed and the tragedy ensues from the fact they can never truly see each other face to face. That is a brilliant idea that I haven't seen since! I fully can say this is a fantasy love story, yet another rare thing in this world and I do mean proper fantasy because it's based in medieval times. I greatly appreciate the romance it builds, they just don't talk about how much one loves the other, but you can see it in their actions and hear it in their voices and you want to see them have a happy resolution. The movie looks great with good portions being filmed in Italy and it looks excellent, with several real life castles being used, and very moody and atmospheric sets. All the actors are committed and give great performances, Matthew Broderick is a very fun and endearing thief with some great chemistry with our other main leads, Michelle Pfeifer though she has little on screen time as a human doesn't waste a second of it giving a lovely and sweet performance, and last but absolutely not least we have Rutger Hauer. I was very shocked and saddened to hear of his passing and it was truly wonderful to see him again, he outshines everyone with a performance that has mystery, tragedy, and a sense of humanity, his character has a lot to enjoy with a sense of humor, great brawn, and charm unparalleled. He almost seems like a D&D character come to the big screen and if I ever truly created a character I would base it on him. He has two scenes that really hit me, in one you can truly see and feel his heart be crushed in anguish, and in another he shows compassion and understanding. I know everyone points to Blade Runner for his acting talents and granted he is beyond spectacular in that movie, but I mean really if you watch him in any movie and you love him. It was great to see him in a hero role which he honestly got by pure luck and I'm happy he did. This was great fun to watch and I really enjoyed it so much more than the first time around. I know I would have just loved this movie when I was young, fantasy movies have always been my thing especially along with science fiction movies, and I've heard lots of stories about people who have been watching this movie since they were kids and still enjoy it. So you bet I give a huge recommendation for this movie, it hits that 80s fantasy adventure just right with brief but good comedy, swordfights, and even a very good love story. It may not be one of the greatest fantasy movies to some but I'll always appreciate and love it.
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