So Im watching it right now. No, really, the movie is playing right behind me on my little $100 Daewoo TV. Haha. Ok, lets start.
Willow is one of those completely and utterly underrated movies. The kind that comes out and doesnt do well because A.) the public isnt ready for it and B.) critics give it bad reviews because they think they know whats good and whats not (and usually theyre wrong at least in my experience). But mostly because of A. Willow is a great collaboration of two great minds (three if youre like me); George Lucas (story), Ron Howard (director), and because Im super-biased, James Horner (music). Get these together and what do you have? Gold. Joy. Good things like that.
There is a prophecy, one that says a child will be born bearing a mark designating her as the future queen who will destroy the evil Queen Bavmorda. Bavmorda is currently spreading her forces across the lands, laying claim to everything and in general, doing what it is evil tyrants do make everyone else miserable.
Nevertheless, the child is born and escapes death by the courageousness of a midwife who eventually, to save the babys life, sets her down the river. The baby is found by the two adorable children of Willow Ufgood, and though initially Willow wants nothing to do with the baby, he and his family fall in love with her. But when one of the Queens ugly attack dogs shows up in the Nelwyn village, the decision is made that Willow and a band of select Nelwyns are to return her to the Dikini world. There they meet Madmartigan (who is stuck in a cage even though he claims to be the greatest swordsman that ever lived) and Willow refuses to give up the baby to him, leading the others to abandon him.
With Willow stuck on his own with a special child, his meager magic skills, and a crazy swordsman, what else could happen but everything he never expected? Love, adventure, and rather ugly monsters await him...
Yes. Thats all Im going to give you because so much happens in the movie. This ranks up there as one of my favorite movies, and I think its really sad it got the response that it did, but Im convinced that people just werent ready for good fantasy like they were for Lord of the Rings or even Star Wars. Just look at the Epinions reviews it has now 4 or more stars on all the reviews. People are more open now, so it gets a better take.
The characters are so different and the acting (for what I know of it) is great. Hey, it makes me happy so thats good enough for me. I love Warwick Davis (Willow) in this movie, and even though a lot of times Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) is a complete goof half the time, he has his high points. Hes a good guy at heart, even if he isnt exactly the ideal good guy. If youve seen Top Gun and The Saint, it is a lot of fun seeing Val swing a sword around and make the occasional idiot out of himself. Then there are the two Brownies, Rool (Kevin Pollack) and Franjean (Rick Overton) who make for the best comic relief ever. Even then theyre still important for the movie and are so gung-ho its great. Theyre so little, and yet Franjean has the arrogance to insult Willow for being small. Oh the irony.
One character I have to mention is Gerenal Kael (Pat Roach wait a second! He was Toth-Amon in Conan the Destroyer! How awesome is that?! and how did I miss that in the first place?). If anything, watch this movie just to see how much he yells. Yes, he yells pretty much everything, at times if not for the sake of yelling. My sister and I love it. Its not annoying, it just amuses us at times. Jean Marsh did an awesome job being the evil Queen very convincing. If theres anyone I might question its Joanne Whalley as Madmartigans love interest Sorsha. Only her ability to be a warrior. She didnt have many lines and the ones she did have were delivered just fine and dandy. I just wonder if she had someone teaching her how to be a fighter or not
Special effects well hey, this was made in 1988 so its not as though theyre going to be super-magical or anything. But with that in mind, especially since I often grow tired of the usual computer generated special FX, I enjoy them very much. No computer generated stuff means sets, makeup, and other things that Im still not sure exactly how they might have done it. I like not knowing.
As for the overall story, some have compared it to both Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and I think its very unfair to do that. Even the little things such as the inclusion of usually unseen Brownies makes it different. Its ridiculous to compare it to Star Wars, and its still very different from Lord of the Rings except maybe in the fact that Willow is a small person doing something really major in order to stop ugly evil. Still, when you think about it, thats not too unlike a lot of other fantasy books out there. Heck, I have a story in which a few members of a race of small people are involved with the downfall of evil. It happens. Not everyone can be typical seized human. Ill stop there before I ramble more in defense of my beloved Willow.
So really, give it a chance. If you dont like fantasy, well, maybe not so much, but I will always think its a great movie. And especially with James Horner as the composer, you know the music is good (you can hear components from Willow in both Braveheart and Troy its cool). But you already know how I love it go find out for yourself if you feel the same way!
As a final note, I absolutely have to put up some of my favorite quotes from this movie and if youve seen it, maybe youll remember them:
Your mother was a lizard!
"Keep walkin' hero!"
Get your hair outta my face or Ill chop it off.
"You? What did you do?"
"All you did was hang around and eat our eggs! Eh!"
(..did I mention you get to see Val Kilmer in drag? *wahahaha*)
What did you think of this review?