Thursday, August 9, 2012

Crusade in Jeans (2006) [PG] ***

Dolf Vega (Joe Flynn) is a player on the Dutch national soccer team; his error during a match in Speyer, Germany, eliminates his team from World Cup competition, and could end his career. Fortunately, his mother Mary Vega (Emily Watson) leads a group of researchers testing a prototype time machine, and Dolf decides to break into the lab and send himself back in time a few hours so he can win the match.

Unfortunately, the time machine interprets his password as the date 15 July 1212, and Dolf finds himself in a forest in medieval Germany. After he's rescued from bandits by a resourceful young woman named Jenne (Stephanie Leonidas), and realizes that he is not going to be transported home, Dolf joins the Children's Crusade heading for Jerusalem. During the journey he uses his knowledge to save a drowning child, fight an outbreak of scarlet fever, bake bread to ward off starvation, rescue twenty-five children from slavery, and teach them to play soccer. Life on the crusade is gritty and dangerous, and Jenne rescues Dolf from death on several occasions.

Gradually Dolf and Jenne fall in love and he becomes determined to bring her with him when he is finally transported home. The action shifts between 1212 and 2006 as Mary tries to rescue her son, and there are some poignant moments as she researches 800-year-old illuminated manuscripts to pinpoint Dolf's location, and finds paintings depicting him and his amazing exploits.

Joe Flynn and Stephanie Leonidas have good chemistry, but their romance is not as well developed as it could have been. And if you expect to witness Jenne's astonishment as Dolf introduces her to the wonders of the 21st century, you'll be disappointed; in that regard the film is a setup with no payoff. Also titled Crusade: A March Through Time this Dutch production (originally titled Kruistocht in spijkerbroek) feels a bit like Stargate meets A Knight's Tale; sets, costumes, cinematography, soundtrack and special effects are all mediocre. 

Labels: adventure, family, fantasy, space-time, war   
Internet Movie Database   
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=NA, viewers=64)   
Wikipedia – Crusade in Jeans

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