“The Oath” will bring back memories of “Gladiator,” which isn’t a bad thing since the second Gladiator is on its way. It’s just not as well produced as a Ridley Scott film.
Darin Scott, who directed the movie “Something Wicked” in 2014, which received an audience score of 17% on Rotten Tomatoes, is a good actor. I’d like to suggest to him that he make being behind the lens the target he focuses his arrow. He has made some shorts but has had a more successful career in minor roles he picks up or the occasional larger one like he landed in 2010 called “127 Hours.” Writing a script to put yourself in the lead, directing it and producing it simultaneously is a very big task. I believe that not getting more help in these areas is where most problems could have arisen with “The Oath.”
Sound is essential and fundamental. A producer should know that. Scott (Moroni) has his score run almost non-stop throughout the movie. It’s not only maddeningly dull, but you can barely hear the actors. Sometimes it seemed they were virtually whispering their lines. The score was that loud. If you tone that down, you have a better film.
“The Oath” is set in 400 A.D. and is a retelling of the “Book of Mormon” and its mythology. In the beginning, the screen describes an ancient grudge between two brothers. Their feud spawned two great nations, the Nephites and the Lamanites. Darin Scott is the initial Joseph Smith prophet named Moroni. In this narrative, he is the last of his kind, the Nephites, and is called “The Hunted One.” He does what he can to protect their ancient text. He buries them so they’ll never be found. They never have been, interestingly enough.
The elders who possessed this land would cry from the dust if Moroni didn’t fulfill their wishes. They should rise and help him out since they have so much power. They can help him keep their race going. Am I wrong?
Anyway, Moroni does what he can with what little he has, mainly since he’s always being hunted by the king. The man lives in a small cave dwelling without many comforts.
Historically, the interpretation of this retelling is hard to understand because both men are in the search of paradise. Moroni may have just found it in King Aaron’s run-away mistress. Billy Zane plays King Aaron, who loves a good harem, for his people to be frightened of him and for everyone to approve his every whim. Don’t dare disapprove of him in any way. Too bad. You’re horrible and get something done with that hair!!
If you don’t fear Aaron, he’ll get around to finding a reason for you to. Here, his mistress Bathsheba, played by Nora Dale (Law & Order, Severance), runs off and into the arms of Moroni.
After they stare into one another’s eyes, they fall in love through a shared passion for animals and a dislike of the king. She sees the “Tablet of History,” which is Moroni’s people’s diary of gold. She also sees a scroll. He teaches her what happened between their people. Having been alone for so long, her company greatly benefits him. He playfully names her “Wolf Huntress” and promises to never hurt her as the Lamanites would and do. They marry in their own ceremony and are blissfully happy, perhaps for the first time in their lives. She has never known freedom, reminding even Moroni not to hold on too tightly.
Sent by the king to find Bathsheba, her sister Mahigana, played by Karina Lombard from “Legends of the Fall,” spots them, liking what she sees. When she notices a difference in Bathsheba’s body, can she stop her sister from the love she has found?
There’s a message from Jesus the Messiah, in 34 A.D. in Ancient America: “Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, my kindness will not depart, nor my Oath of Peace turn away.” Moroni’s preserved record is believed to have been discovered on September 22, 1823, where Palmyra, New York, is now.
It was translated and published in 1830 and is considered the fourth most influential book in American Literature by the United States Library of Congress.
One last thing. This movie is based on the short film “Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty.
Tile of the Film
Director: Darin Scott
Writers: Darin Scott, Michelle Scott
Starring: Darin Scott, Nora Dale, Billy Zane, Karina Lombard
Rating: PG-13 (Violent Content)
Runtime: 1h 44m
Genres: Adventure, Action, History, Drama, Romance
Distributor: Freestyle Digital Media
Production Co: Great Scott Entertainment, Herculean Pictures