Merlin (1998)

1998 Action, Drama, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

User Score: 60/100


The legendary wizard tells his story of his war against Queen Mab of the Sidhe and his creation of Camelot.

What kind of guy was the wizard Merlin, anyway? He lives a long time, raises a boy to be a king, props up a Utopian empire with his magic and wisdom, and then watches as it all crumbles under such banal forces as vengeance and betrayal. This four-hour miniseries re-tells the story of Camelot and King Arthur from the perspective of the magic man who sacrifices a great deal to guide mortals toward a better destiny. Sam Neill plays Merlin as an accessible, flesh-and-blood fellow of real passion, powerless to undo the spell of a rival (Rutger Hauer) who has virtually imprisoned Merlin’s great love, Nimue (Isabella Rossellini), but gifted enough to counter the treachery of Morgan Le Fey (Helena Bonham Carter) and the wicked Queen Mab (Miranda Richardson). The battle sequences and special effects are striking and original, and it is great fun to see such art-house movie actors as Richardson, Carter, Neill, etc., in fantasy entertainment the whole family can enjoy. (An unrecognizable Martin Short must be singled out, however, for a wonderful, largely dramatic performance as Mab’s sidekick, Frik.) Directed by Steve Barron (The Adventures of Pinocchio), Merlin is a nice bit of glossy revisionism of a beloved legend. —Tom Keogh

About Merlin (1998)

Title: Merlin
Year: 1998
Starring: Rutger Hauer, Sam Neill, Helena Bonham Carter, James Earl Jones, John Gielgud, Christian Simpson, Miranda Richardson
Director: Steve Barron
Score: 2 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3/5 stars from 5 users. Votes: 5.
Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

Merlin Cover Poster Art

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