With the popularity of shows like Game of Thrones it is no surprise that there are more and more movies being produced in the genre. While it was announced back after the release of the original Ironclad in 2011 that there would be a sequel there has been little word as if it was still coming out. Now the sequel is here with Ironclad: Battle for Blood from the original director Jonathan English, but obviously none of the cast. Can it live up to the original or will it be a forced attempt at keeping the battle alive when in reality it was lost long ago?
Ironclad: Battle for Blood follows a small band of hired swords gather inside a castle intent on holding off evil Celtic Tribesmen hell-bent on revenge for the death of their leaders' son, whose soul is wracked with guilt over the atrocities he has committed during the days and years after the great battle of Rochester Castle. While the first one wasn’t breaking the box office, it had some star power with Paul Giamatti and delivered a pretty great film. This latest entry lacks any of the recognizable faces, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This entry isn’t quite as strong as the first film, but manages to keep the same vibe and brings the gory action. The story is pretty simple and only connects to the first film by a single character, but still feels like it is a part of the same world. Where this film struggles is in the pacing as at times it feels either all over the place or doesn’t spend enough time fleshing out some of the sequences. Thankfully more of the film works than doesn’t bringing a decent entry into the unexpected franchise. As mentioned before they don’t pull many punches with the gore showcasing all the dismemberment fans of these types of films could want.
While this film may lack some of the elements that made the first one stand out, thanks to the involvement from director Jonathan English it still works to further develop this world and will likely work for those fans of the first film. Keep in mind that despite the bigger release of the first it was an independent production and this one is the same. It doesn’t necessarily feel that way, but does make up for some of the films issues. If you enjoyed the first film or just love this genre then this is surely the film for you.