Movie Review: PILGRIMAGE (Blu-ray Combo Pack)

PILGRIMAGE was directed by Brendan Muldowney from a screenplay by Jamie Hannigan and stars Tom Holland, Jon Bernthal, Richard Armitage, Stanley Weber and John Lynch. The music was composed by Stephen McKeon.

Leaving his Irish monastery for the first time, a young novice (Tom Holland) departs with a devoted group of monks and a mysterious former Crusader (Jon Bernthal) as they attempt to transport a holy relic to Rome. Threatened at every turn by savage tribes, traitorous Norman soldiers and those that seek the power they believe the relic holds, the young man finds surprising courage while faced with deadly challenges that will push his body, mind and spirit to the breaking point.

Pilrimage takes place in 55 A.D. Ireland and follows this group of monks that set out on a mission to deliver this holy relic to Rome. The main focal point of the story is this young novice who goes along on the journey and his mysterious friend who has taken an oath of silence. Along the way they see signs of pagan rituals and sacrifices as well as meet up with some allies that join them for a while. The thing about these allies is that they’re not very trustworthy and the monks pay dearly for it. What happens is, a horde of barbarians attacks the group leaving most of them dead but the survivors have to fight onward to try and complete this cursed mission that has now become extremely deadly. For the young novice, this fight for survival has not only opened his eyes to how dangerous the outside world really is but he also goes through some personal growing pains in this journey of self-discovery, sacrifice and faith. His mysterious mute friend ultimately reveals just how brave he really is when it comes to protecting his young friend and the rest of the monks from their attackers.

Okay, Pilgrimage was a surprisinly epic watch and so much better than I thought it was going to be. It already had my interest because of the religious tone and this amazing cast but the movie has much more going for it. First of all, this is an extremely violent movie that features some well choreographed fight scenes and stunt work as well as visual and practical effects to make all the kills look so realistic. Hey, we’re talking lots of blood and gore here, folks! The entire cast did a fantastic job with their characters but the standouts were the three main leads. Tom “Spider-Man” Holland plays the young novice who has to grow up quickly during this journey. Richard “Thorin” Armitage takes a villainous turn as the movie’s antagonist and this character is one bad dude. Last but not least is Jon “Punisher” Bernthal whose character doesn’t have to say one word to make a huge impact. He’s a mysterious survivor from the Crusades and he knows how to battle it out with the enemy.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. Each disc features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Pilgrimage was an extremely well executed action-thriller about this doomed mission that takes place around the time of the great Crusades. The story and characters were all interesting and the locations made me feel like I had been zapped back in time to watch this epic journey take place. Everything looked so authentically detailed, from the wardrobes to the props. A lot went into the making of this epic piece (from the locations to the graphic violence, to the different languages that were spoken) and director Brendan Muldowney was able to capture all of this magic on screen with the end result being a really fascinating visual study about this ancient time. Sure, this violent movie isn’t going to be for everyone but if you’re into history and religion then hopefully you’ll like it as much as I did because it’s an amazing watch. This Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack is now available and worth checking out.

Distributor: RLJ Entertainment

Run Time: 96 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

DVD Video: Widescreen (2.35:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! This Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack is loaded with extras that include five featurettes that takes the viewer behind-the-scenes of the movie and includes interviews with some of the cast and crew and two image galleries.

  • Five Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
  1. The Making-of Pilgrimage (11:06)
  2. The Dance of War: The Fight Choreography of Pilgrimage (02:10)
  3. Building an Army: The Visual & Make-Up Effects of Pilgrimage (02:51)
  4. Sounds from the Past: The Languages & Music of Pilgrimage (03:02)
  5. Setting the Scenes: The Locations of Pilgrimage (01:57)
  • Photo Gallery (00:20)
  • Poster Gallery (00:05)
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