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Genre: Comedy
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Mischa Barton, Tom Roth, Christopher Egan, Clive Riche, Silvia Colloca
Director: David Leland
Rating: M18 (Nudity)
Year Made: 2007






Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Fullscreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 33 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Alliance Entertainment




As sickness and death ravage 14th century Florence, the city's lusty young men and chaste maidens flee to the countryside for a bit of ravaging of their own. But for charming scoundrel Lorenzo di Lamberti, the only woman that sets his heart ablaze is the orphaned beauty Pampinea who is also being pursued by an obsessed Russian count and a wicked nobleman who has vowed to take her virtue.


On the surface, Virgin Territory appears to be a funny, irreverent and witty take of traditional swashbuckling adventures.

In reality, it is anything but funny, irreverent or witty. Instead, this toned down and dumbed down loose adaptation of The Decameron by Boccacio manages nary a laugh, and plods on without much sense of direction.

The story unfolds under the narration of a painter, a la Michelangelo, who spends his time perched high above the church floors observing the drama of other people’s lives down below. But what droll this narration initially promises soon descends into dread.

Much blame falls squarely on the shoulders of writer/director David Leland (Mona Lisa, Wish You Were Here), because this third-person narration quickly loses its bite. Not only are the lines flat, but Leland appears to be floundering in how he intends to tie in the story of the narrator cum painter with that of the central theme of Lorenzo and Pampinea. So much so therefore that it seems more as an afterthought than a crucial piece in the puzzle.

Not that however there is much to engage you. For a story that appears to eschew the formula of such swashbuckling movies (where the hero saves the fair maiden from the clutches of the evil and powerful nobleman), Virgin Territory is disappointingly pedestrian and tame. Besides developing exactly as you would expect it to, the raunchy and boisterous romp that it promises to be never materializes. Instead, the supposedly tantalizing sex scenes between Lorenzo and the nuns at the convent are embarrassingly juvenile, quickly fizzling out without even any sizzle.

To be sure, the cast does appear promising, what with Jumper’s Hayden Christensen and The OC’s Mischa Barton, and even The Incredible Hulk’s baddie Tim Roth. However, their performances are surprisingly lacklustre. In fact, Hayden Christensen seems almost awkward being in the role of Lorenzo, failing to inject enough pizzazz as the Casanova-lover. But it is Mischa Barton who looks horribly miscast in the role, looking ostensibly more contemporary than a 14th century fair maiden.

What this all adds up to is a terrible attempt at creating a modern-day spin of a classic adventure. There are some boundaries that should never be crossed, and Virgin Territory is best kept out of bounds.




The audio here is presented only in Dolby Digital 2.0, though there aren’t many scenes here that deserve to be experienced at a better level. Visual transfer is good enough.



Review by Gabriel Chong


Other titles from Alliance Entertainment:

. Never Back Down

. Shutter UNRATED

. Little Fish

. Shanghai Kiss

This review is made possible with the kind support from
Alliance Entertainment



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