The Dead LandsFor this week’s Ass Whoopin Wednesday, I wanted to prove that America, Japan, and England are not the only ones in the world that can make kick ass action films. The film we chose today comes all the way from New Zealand in the film The Dead Lands which was directed by Toa Fraser (Naming Number Two). The film centers around two tribes built full of warriors who have been at peace with each other for a very long time. One tribal leaders eager son Wirepa (Te Kohe Tuhaka) comes to the village to pay respect to the ancestors. He begins to desecrate the ancestors, but is seen by the opposing tribal chiefs son Hongi (James Rolleston). While Hongi manages to run away after he is seen, he is blamed for desecrating the ancestors, but he has no witness to back him up. It never really mattered because that was all Wirepa needed to start the war he wanted and all of Hongi’s tribe is slaughtered except for Hongi who now has to seek vengeance to redeem himself. In order to do so, he will travel to the Dead Lands to seek out a fierce man known only as The Warrior to help him carry out his vengeance. The film also stars Lawrence Makoare (Die Another Day) as The Warrior, Xavier Horan (The Dark Horse) as Rangi, Rena Owen (Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith) as The Grandmother, George Henare (Once Wee Warriors) as Tana, Raukura Turei (12) as Mehe, and Pana Hema Taylor (Spartacus: War Of The Damned) as Mana. Before we get into the review of the film, let’s check out some of the stats.

The Dead Lands Stats
















hongiSo, we decided to do a tag team style thing when it came to the stats considering that Hongi and The Warrior team up on this journey through the dead lands. We will start with Hongi who is apparently only 16 seasons old so he doesn’t have much of an origin story, but the kid records only 7 knockout/kills. He has no love interest as far as we can tell in this story and as far as someone close getting hurt, well all the men of the village are killed including his father who is the chief. The big boss is defeated in the end, but there is a huge twist on it that you’ll have to see for yourself. As far as The Warrior is concerned, the origin story for him is mostly built on legend at first, but in one scene we find out why he is alone and why his ancestors will not accept him. He has the most kills/knockouts with 16 and as far as love interests are concerned he has three or four wives with one who cannot die until he does. No one close to him is hurt, but he feels he can redeem himself by going on this journey and the bog boss does not pertain to hi which is why you see the N/A. The film is simply fantastic and amazing which are the words that I can use to describe it at the moment. It’s a coming of age story not only for Hongi who is forced to become a man on this journey, but for The Warrior who is stubborn and psychotic for most of the film. They both learn from each other and it benefits the both of them. Hongi for the most part is young and innocent and he quickly learns the ugliness of life which helps him make his big decision at the end. While The Warrior is all about killing, but in a way Hongi reminds him of what it was like to be young, innocent, and full of honor which is why I believe he stays on the journey and does not turn on Hongi. I know you want to know if the film kicks ass more than the other stuff and it does. The fight scenes are actually pretty cool and the cinematography is legit. There is a scene of Hongi at the end at the top of mountain as he overlooks the ocean. That is truly an amazing shot and I love those. I am going to give this film four and the half fists out of five for a final grade. The film is available on Netflix as we speak and beware it has subtitles.

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