Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Action Pack Week: Xena: Warrior Princess

Hidey ho boys and girls!!  Welcome to day 2 of Action Pack Week and we are kicking off with a former enemy turned ally of Hercules. Destroyer of nations, ravager of townships our villainess turned over a new leaf thanks to Hercules’…influences. This warrior princess strives to do good in the world from city to city and redeem her wicked ways.  So don that armour, sharpen your blade and polish that round killy thing.  This is Xena: Warrior Princess.
Never anger a warrior woman and her round killy thing.

Spoilers are most surprising…

The Warrior Princess known as Xena (Lucy Lawless of Tarzan, Spiderman, Vampire Bats, Battlestar Galactica, Angel of Death and Spartacus: Gods of the Arena) has turned from her killing ways and utter barbarism.  She vows to do right by those she has wronged for so long.  As her story progresses a young bard that craves adventure, excitement and really wild things.  Her name is Gabrielle (Renee O’ Connor of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys- Hercules and the Lost Kingdom, Darkman II: The Return of Durant, Alien Apocalypse, Boogeyman 2, Diamonds and Guns and Ark) and together they travel and thwart warlords, tyrants and the occasional monster here and there.    Another thorn in Xena’s side is the continuous pursuit of a certain god of war Ares (Kevin Smith of Desperate Remedies, Young Hercules, Xena: Warrior Princess, Riverworld and Warriors of Virtue: The Return to Tao) and his plans for her consists mostly of back to her blood shedding ways and devotion back to him.  Through this one warrior he has absorbed more terror and fear via battlefields than any other of his protégés.   Also it is blatantly obvious he has the hots for her.  

Ladies, please. Plenty of Autolycus to go around.

Renaissance Pictures created the Hercules spin off Xena in 1995 and both series ran back to back as a compliment to one another. Naturally like most spin offs the show’s originator has to appear in at least one maybe two episodes and so a two part cliffhanger was created dragging both Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst on down to Xenatown.  While this was more or less Rob Tapert’s baby and boy did he run with it; the creator of the Xena character as well as the series is writer John Schulian (Miami Vice, Jag, Midnight Caller and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) using the cliché archetype of dark warrior rethinking the path of life and wither it should be bathed in blood or somber with good deeds.

This malefactor of destruction becomes a positive role model for generations alike and had so much cult followings of various ages.    A few points I would like to make about the show.   The show seems to give Xena almost the same demi-god status as Hercules when in fact she all 100% mortal.  With skill, cunning, strategy and a spine forged of steel she commands men and women alike into battle or faces it head on her own.  Protecting those she cares for seems to agree with her new calling as a hero.  
Sea god feeling a bit blue.

The production offers the same standing as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys in that they use the Raimi camera techniques such as: Shaky cam(POV of creature, entity or roaming monster) projectile cam (an intense focus of a blade or arrow travelling faster than the human eye could really calculate), fist cam (A mock up of the hero’s fist pummeling a villain or lickspittle of said villain) and dolly track.  Yes it can be campy and silly what with the reoccurring characters of Joxer the Mighty (Ted Raimi of Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence, Darkman, Floundering, Seaquest 2032 and Spiderman) and Autolycus, King of Thieves (Bruce Campbell of Evil Dead, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Spiderman) it can get a little zany but all in all it is girls kicking butt, taking names and winning the world’s hearts again and again.