I accidently stumbled upon a certain video on YouTube when I was wanting to look for a trailer that IGN made as an April Fools Day joke so I could dream that The Legend of Zelda could one day very much be a movie, then I came across The Legend of Zelda: The Hero of Time! I decided to watch it with very low expectations, and it was pretty much what I’ve come to expect with a fan-made version and interpretation of Zelda. However, what I didn’t expect is that I sort of liked it, even if it was corny as hell.
First, I would like to give a little bit of background of what this movie is about… Actually, ya’ll already know what it’s about since I can personally tell you that it is based on a similar plot to the game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time! So there are really no surprises as to what happens! According to Wikipedia, “On January 1, 2010, the contract between BMB Finishes and Nintendo that allowed them to showcase the film until the end of 2009 expired, and the film's distribution stopped.” Nintendo wants to protect their franchise for good reason, so who can really blame them? This film isn’t really the greatest.
There are quite a few differences between the beloved game classic and this movie, though many of the elements have remained the same. I think that the best way to describe some of those differences is by going down the list of the 3 main characters.
I’m going to start with Link, but first I’ll make a note of this: I understand that there had to be elements of the game that had to be removed in order for certain ideas to work in this movie, but do you think it’s too much or too little? Well for one thing, Link is absolutely no child in the movie, as it’s easy to tell that he’s an adult. He does travel in time, but only by 5 years instead of 7. He also does not have Navi as a guide, which is actually a plus since Navi was annoying anyways! Unlike the game, Link does a lot of talking. I found it to be a bit annoying, but I understand that they had to give him some lines, even though they were pretty cheesy because of his stupid curiosity. I’ll just come out and say it… he’s really annoying all around and is a complete douche bag! Throughout the movie, he doesn’t really open any chests, collect rupees or special items and weapons like you’d expect. He does somewhat explore Hyrule, but there are no dungeons, spiritual stones, or any other special items (with the exception of the ocarina which will be more fully explained in Zeldas part of the review) that he had to collect at all. YES, I said that there were no dungeons at all! Instead, Link goes to the basic areas of where one would enter the temples in the game.
Example: Shadow Palace in the game = Graveyard in the movie; Fire Palace = inside a volcano; Water Palace = Lake Hylia and etc. There are boss battles, but much of it is unfortunately time lapsed. Also, the friends he befriends do not become sages, but he does have to obtain the sages powers for the Master Sword. The movie mainly focuses on the story and the types of relationships Link makes with others, like Saria (his step-mother or adopted mother), Malon, Dariu, and Zelda, as well as saving a few obscure characters from bad people under Ganondorf.
Princess Zelda and her alter ego Sheik (too obvious it’s Zelda) actually plays more of a role in the movie than she ever did in the game, though she is a bit of a cry baby and more romantic in the movie. She met Link in pretty much the same way as in the game, and Impa is still her protector. Zelda also did give Link an ocarina; however, the ocarina was only useful for opening the Door of Time to the Temple of Time, and whenever Link got bored and tired out of his skull. As Sheik, Zelda actually helps Link in the quest of powering up the Master Sword after he obtains some power after he beats the monster in the volcano and meets a goofy but cute fire sage who tells him that there are more places that he must go in order for him to power up the master sword, though she may not be talking about the master sword that we’re all thinking of. Tehe.
Ganondorf as you would want to expect is the same, except for the fact that he’s dorkified. He’s still that badass that wants to have the complete power of the Triforce, and he has an assistant named Tomaz that he talks to about his plans to conquer Hyrule. He doesn’t turn into a beast as he did in the game, but he gave Link a pretty decent sword fight (though it was a little on the cheap side). There is only one word to accurately describe the sword fight: Dayum! I liked the concept of the sword fight a lot, but I wish they could have done a better job executing the idea. I can’t say though that the sword fight was totally bad! Ganondorf’s costume, make-up, and yes… hair is absolutely ridiculous! Actually, all the costumes, the make-up, the voice acting and the hair for all the characters were really bad in the movie with the exception of a few Hyrule townsfolk, Kokiri villagers, and the fire sage <3.
Here is what you can expect when if you decide to watch this movie. It is a fan-made film, so don’t expect to see any high end technology. The music used in the movie actually is surprisingly not all that bad! The best way to describe the atmosphere is that it will have the Wizard of Oz like set, though it really isn’t all that pretty like the Wizard of Oz. The special effects and look of the monsters will be cheap too. The movie is actually pretty long, so be prepared to see a lot of down-time full of explanations. I watched The Legend of Zelda cartoon when I was young, so don’t expect to hear the infamous line, “WELL EXCUUUUSSEE ME PRINCESS”. The movie is very much cheesy and boring, but it was surprisingly satisfying. I do applaud the efforts to those who have tried to make the film in the best way they could make it, and I have to say that it was directed rather well. If the lines were better, if it wasn’t so low budget, and if there were some decent actors and actresses, and if the plot was more brand new, I think that the movie could have turned out a little better… though it probably would not have made too much of a difference in critical reception or receive any great amount of revenue. For what it is, I accept and I am satisfied with this movie. I’m not really saying that the film is good, but it’s rather satisfying in a way that it’s just a great reminder of why most great and timeless video games should stay hell out of Hollywood. Regardless of the reuse and misuse of some plot elements in the game that made me love The Legend of Zelda series in the first place that were put into making The Hero of Time, I’m glad that I actually watched The Hero of Time even if it was a bad movie. This movie gave me closure, and I realize more than ever that there should never be a big movie on anything that is Zelda! This movie was an eye opener to other things as well. My favorite things like the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes or the video game Starfox should never be made into a movie either, because what justice would it do for them? I won’t ever watch Hero of Time again, because of the fact that it made the Ocarina of Time look and seem pretty dull, though it really isn’t. I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone who hasn’t played the game. Even if you played the game, The Hero of Time may not satisfy you in the way it satisfied me. It was my risk to take to endure watching the movie, and it’ll be your own risk to take if you decide to watch it. However, if you think you need the closure like I needed, then perhaps you should watch it. Otherwise, don’t watch it.
I do not wish to give this movie a score, and I couldn’t really score it if I wanted to. My opinion can very well differ than those who are either planning on or have already watched the movie. I expressed my genuine thoughts about the movie, and shared my opinion here with everyone.
Until next week everyone! I have one more movie to review!