New Spider-Man Tom Holland takes the lead in Pilgrimage, a medieval Irish thriller that sees a group of monks protecting an ancient holy relic against heathens and those who want to use it as a source of political power.
Pilgrimage is an engaging action thriller, a chase movie that might not be wholly (or should that be holy) original but it does feature a relatively unique premise. However, the film has enough impressive moments to hold the attention throughout its tight running time. The earthy tones and harsh violence add a visceral energy and director Brendan Muldowney knows how to stage a hearty action sequence.
Pilgrimage might have Marvel’s latest web-slinger front and centre, but it also features a strong supporting cast, with fellow Marvel universe hero Jon Bernthal (The Punisher) joining him on-screen and John Lynch and Richard Armitage also filling out the ranks. They’re all very good – and have much more to offer than the weedy Holland, who just doesn’t have enough charisma to make a viable lead. I much preferred Bernthal’s quiet masculinity and Lynch’s understated gravitas.
The medieval Irish setting adds a freshness to Pilgrimage and I’m always fascinated that more movies don’t use this very dramatic time in Irish history as a stepping-off point. It’s a rich time period to mine and this action-thriller only scratches the surface. In many ways it’s similar to Neil Marshall’s Michael Fassbender starrer Centurion (read the Movies In Focus) in that they both share the same textures and sadly don’t quite hit the mark on a creative level.
Worth catching for it’s unique setting, Pilgrimage is a solid thriller with a lot to offer. It’s not stunning, but it holds it together and it makes for an entertaining ninety or so minutes.
The Pilgrimage blu-ray has an informative documentary with plenty of interviews with the cast and crew. It’s a good piece that adds something to the overall package.