Premiering today exclusively on CONtv, Mythica: A Quest for Heroes is the first installment of the Mythica trilogy from Arrowstorm Entertainment. The next two parts (Mythica: The Darkspore and Mythica: The Necromancer )will also debut on the new streaming channel later this year.
The story of Mythica: A Quest for Heroes is fairly typical of fantasy-adventure films: a temple is raided, a woman is kidnapped, and her sister, a healer-priestess, hires a team of would-be heroes to find and save her. Along the way they face dangerous creatures (ogres, orcs, etc.) and learn about themselves.
Here’s what isn’t typical: The first hero to sign on for priestess Teela’s quest is a young woman named Marek, a young magician with a club foot. It is Marek who finds the rest of the group, and convinces them to join the quest, and her story is really the heart of the film.
Marek is played by the incredibly engaging Melanie Stone, who infuses the part with the perfect balance of eager anticipation and fierce tenacity. Her teammates include Adam Johnson as the noble warrior Thane, and Jeremy Stormoen as the delightfully roguish thief, Dagen. Rounding out the party is Nicola Posener as Teela.
All four are relative unknowns, with a few genre credits and bit parts in more mainstream productions, and all four are relatable and watchable, but it is Stone who really grabs the camera’s – and the viewer’s – attention. I enjoyed her performance in this film so much that even when the plot was somewhat predictable, I was never bored.
The supporting cast, including Kevin Sorbo as Marek’s mentor Gojun Pye, is as interesting as the core four. Of particular note are the performances by Christopher Robin Miller as Hammerhead the Innkeeper/Bartender and Sebastian Michael Barr as Marek’s friend Egan.
If Anne Black’s direction feels, at times, as though we are watching a well-plotted LARP adventure, that doesn’t detract at all from the story. (Black is also one of the writers, along with Jason Faller and Kynan Griffin.) After all, the Mythica series was inspired, in part, by RPGs. A combination of digital and practical effects – an impressive array considering the size of the filmmakers’ budget – enriches the film, and Nathaniel Drew’s soundtrack was a delightful surprise.
The creators of the Mythica trilogy have said in interviews that this project was created by fans for fans, but it was also supported by fans: a Kickstarter campaign was a crucial source of funding for the first film, and the Kickstarter campaign for the second installment (link here) was launched yesterday.
If you’re looking for a highly intellectual film, Mythica: A Quest for Heroes isn’t it. If, however, you want to spend an enjoyable hour and a half watching some really likable characters on a journey, not just to save Teela’s sister, but also toward camaraderie, then point your web browser or Roku device of choice toward CONtv, pop some popcorn, and have fun.