MYTHICA: THE DARKSPORE
I really liked Mythica: A Quest for Heroes. It was low-budget but everyone seemed to be making an effort way above and beyond the average fan production resulting in something that approached considerable professionalism, if not a very high degree of creativity. That continues here in what is a sequel that genuinely expands out on its predecessor rather than just acts as the further adventures of ...
The story is slightly the lesser than A Quest for Heroes. In that film, the best parts were the introduction of characters but it became less interesting once it settled in to becoming a standard adventure. With the set-up over, The Darkspore is more of a regular adventure, wielding into place stock tropes like the dark lords(s), the artefact of great power, the quest for the treasure of the lost city. The film gets its best scenes during the in-between bits in the romantic developments between the various characters with Jake Stormoen rather hilariously caught as the wrong man in the middle in every pairing. Anne Black has a great deal of fun introducing the impressively buffed Rocky Myers the two girls drop-jawed expression at first seeing him bare-chested is hilarious.
The downside of the plot is that while we get a journey to a lost city, the arrival there never amounts to anything more than the party going through some caves. (We never actually see the city). The climactic confrontation/betrayals between the parties takes place in the outdoors at some standing stones where it also feels like the film, which has been leisurely in introducing its wilderness encounters up to that point, seems to compact a whole bunch of plotting into the last few minutes.
As in A Quest for Heroes, The Darkspore does miracles with its low-budget. There is a so-so CGI dragon at the start and some banal animated magic power blasts but the digital fairies work surprisingly well. It even has the considerable ambition to create a series of digital battle scenes. Anne Black is proving an immensely talented director. Mythica: The Darkspore doesnt quite give her the opportunity to allow her art direction talents to flourish like A Quest for Heroes did but other aspects shine in particular, a visually stunning scene where Nicolas Posener stands at her sisters funeral pyre in front of a lake covered in mist. It would be most interesting to see what she could do with the backing of a decent budget.