Reviewed by: C. I. Bishop
|Featuring:||Kimberly Williams, John Larroquette, Scott Cohen, Daniel Lapaine, Dianne Wiest|
|Director:||David Carson, Herbert Wise|
|Producer:||Babelsberg Film und Fernsehen
Carnival Film and Television
|Distributor:||National Broadcasting Company (NBC)|
Imagine a world where fairy stories are real, where Cinderella and Snow White and Red Riding Hood grew up to be great queens and formed the 9 Kingdoms, a place where everyone lives happily ever after… until now. Prince Wendall’s crown has been cunningly and unknowingly overthrown by his wicked stepmother, the Queen, and at her beck and call is the Troll King and his doltish children, as well as Wolf, a part-human-part-wolf mix who often has trouble controlling his wolfish tendencies.
Virginia Lewis lives an ordinary life in an apartment with her janitor father, Tony, in New York, “at the edge of the forest,” as she calls Central Park. Only what she doesn’t know is that her world is about to be shattered when Prince Wendall, who has been turned into a dog by his stepmother, leaps through a magic mirror into “The 10th Kingdom.” When Wolf and the trolls follow him, Virginia finds herself in danger, and her father tricked into revealing her whereabouts by the gift of a magic bean that gives him five wishes. He wishes himself into trouble, and the only way they can escape is to flee through the mirror… and into the 9 Kingdoms.
Magic and mischief abound in this 6½ hour epic that spread its spell through a three-part miniseries on NBC, with so many twists and turns, unexpected horrors and thrills enough for the most hardened seekers, “The 10th Kingdom” puts together a mixture of Tolkien and Grimm that will please any fantasy lover. However, the film is not for everyone; no doubt proving too intense for young children, and often turning violent, with creatures ghoulish in appearance and jump scenes involving the Queen. Left unrated, I would give it a PG-13. Wolf, Tony, and Virginia encounter a gypsy camp and have their fortunes told; this later backfires. From a later mention of pregnancy, we discover that Wolf and Virginia have slept together before marriage. The Huntsman kills many people with his magic arrows; people are also poisoned. Also, some parents won’t like the whole magical “edge” of the film, although Wolf does say that the more one uses magic, the more one wants it. Wolf is accused of murdering a young girl whom he was flirting with earlier, although Virginia and Tony prove him innocent. The Queen’s many mirrors spy on people, and she pops up in the most unexpected moments.
In conclusion, with a few bumpy moments, “The 10th Kingdom” is an “almost clean” story of romance, adventure, and suspense.