The movie Knights of the Zodiac (2023) (aka Saint Seiya: The Beginning in Japan) promised to be an epic live-action adaptation of the beloved Japanese manga and anime series Saint Seiya. I enjoyed watching this action-adventure movie, even though many fans of Saint Seiya anime have expressed their disappointment in the film.
Knights of the Zodiac is about a young woman named Sienna who is destined to become Athena, the Goddess of war and wisdom. However, no one knows when this will happen.
You may think the movie’s central character would be Athena, but that’s not the case. Instead, the film’s main protagonist is a young guy named Seiya, a street orphan with hidden powers.
Seiya finds himself recruited by a mystery man named Alman Kido played by actor Sean Bean, who wants him to join the Knights of the Zodiac — an elite group of fighters sworn to protect the reincarnated Goddess Athena.
If the actor Sean Bean looks very familiar, you probably recognize him for his role in Lord of the Rings. He played Boromir, a valiant warrior of Gondor.
In Knights of the Zodiac, for Seiya to become a fully-fledged protector of Athena, he must train in martial arts and understand the true nature of the universe.
In order to achieve full power and access the cool armor of Pegasus so he can become a Warrior Knight for Athena, Seiya must learn to overcome obstacles and confront personal demons to fulfill his destiny and help save the world.
Knights of the Zodiac Movie Review
I found watching Knights of the Zodiac (2023) to be a feast for the eyes, from its costumes to set designs. The scenes are beautifully shot!
The mixture of practical effects and CGI won me over. Action sequences in Knights of the Zodiac had great stunt work and choreography. It did feel a bit B-grade in certain scenes, but overall, I was very impressed!
Despite its flaws, Knights of the Zodiac has plenty of great highlights. For instance, the production design was very impressive, as was the fantastical world inspired by Greek mythology and ancient Greece.
I can assure you that you’ll see plenty of Greek columns and sculptures of Gods and Goddesses in the movie. Here’s an interesting tip for you to notice in the movie: one artifact in Kido’s collection is the Medusa Shield, a weapon wielded by the Saint Perseus Algol.
Costumes and set design were also top-notch like the characters’ armor based on creatures such as the Phoenix and the Pegasus.
In terms of performance, Mackenyu stands out as Seiya. Madison Iseman as Sienna and Sean Bean as Alman Kido also deliver solid a performance, but some of the supporting actors do not fare as well, falling into stereotypical villain or lackey roles.
Unfortunately, the way the story is constructed is slightly problematic. The main issue is that the characters were underdeveloped, leading to low stakes and a lack of emotional connection.
Movie Trailer: Knights of the Zodiac
Take a look at the movie trailer for Knights of the Zodiac and see if the film interests you. It will give you an appreciation of the stunning visuals and show you some of the fantastic action sequences in Knights of the Zodiac.
Knights of the Zodiac: Female Cast Review
The two main female cast members of Knights of the Zodiac include:
Madison Iseman: In the movie, she plays Sienna — the Goddess Athena who is confined within the physical form of a young woman. Sienna’s character is integral to the plot, acting as the story’s emotional center.
Though she can be stubborn and headstrong, it’s understandable considering the immense responsibility she bears. It’s as if the entire world rests upon her shoulders, and it’s not an easy burden to bear.
Famke Janssen: In the movie, she plays baddie Vander Guraad, a fascinating woman with a strong sense of purpose. Her mission is to protect the world, but she faces complex challenges due to her personal struggles.
Guraad’s arms were destroyed by her adoptive daughter during a fit of rage when the daughter was young. As a result, her arms require a special power source called “cosmo” to function, and this energy can only be obtained from others.
Guraad understands the potential danger her daughter, who is destined to become Athena, poses to the world when she grows up and feels compelled to prevent it. However, this means confronting her own daughter and risking her own life.
Knights of the Zodiac Review: Conclusion
Knights of the Zodiac aims high but fails to achieve a timeless status. Honestly, rewatching the movie isn’t gong to make it on my list of things to do, yet I’m grateful to have experienced it once.
The action-packed movie is full of spirit, energy, and enough inspiration from the original Saint Seiya anime making it a must-watch film in my opinion.
While the movie took inspiration from the very popular Saint Seiya anime, many fans were disappointed that it didn’t capture the same magic. I haven’t watched any episodes in the Saint Seiya anime series, so I can’t comment on this, but what this movie has done for me is that it has made me super keen to want to watch some Saint Seiya anime episodes for myself.
The movie was never going to be as popular with fans like the next Marvel movie such as Thor: Love and Thunder. But Knights of the Zodiac does offer something very different. It’s a movie about Athena, the Goddess of war and wisdom, and movies with Athena in it are extremely rare. It’s another great reason to check out Knights of the Zodiac.
Athena comic books are also rare. This is another story about Athena I highly recommend checking out.
One silver lining in this live-action adaptation of Saint Seiya is Mackenyu’s performance as Seiya. He commands an impressive screen presence and brings a unique perspective to the character. He’s charismatic, and while the film failed to flesh out all of the characters, I can’t think of another actor who could have performed any better based on the film’s script.
Also let’s not forget, the production design and battle sequences in Knights of the Zodiac, because they are visually stunning! Regardless of the film’s flaws, it’s commendable in the attempt to bring the Saint Seiya anime to the big screen as a live-action adaptation.
Knights of the Zodiac Movie Rating
I found watching Knights of the Zodiac (2023) to be an enjoyable experience, so I’m sure other movie fans interested in Greek mythology will also find it very interesting.
I give Knights of the Zodiac (2023) a movie rating of 6/10.
Tara McNamara from Common Sense Media gave the film 3/5 stars, likening it to a mashup of Clash of the Titans and Flash Gordon.
At the time of this Knights of the Zodiac movie review, the IMDb website rating was 4.4/10 from 8.6K reviews.
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