Knights of the Zodiac Parent Guide
The script constantly reminds viewers of all the scenes it's stealing from "Star Wars". At least it's stealing from good source material,.
Parent Movie Review
Seiya (Mackenyu) grew up on the streets with only his sister, Patricia (Kaylan Teague) to look out for him. After she was abducted under mysterious circumstances Seiya began to carry her amulet with him on his search for her. Luckily, he eventually stumbles across Alman Kiddo (Sean Bean), who tells Seiya that he’s not just a street urchin – he has superpowers and is destined to protect the reincarnation of the goddess Athena.
Understandably, Seiya isn’t sure he believes this story – until Alman’s ex-wife Guraad (Famke Janssen) arrives in a high-tech airship and tries to blow Seiya and Alman apart. Guraad is determined to prevent Athena’s return and is willing to kill whoever gets in her way. The pair escape to the remote villa Alman has been using as a base, and where he harbors the young girl who will become Athena: Sienna (Madison Iseman), his own adopted daughter.
Seiya is still skeptical about the incredible story Alman has been feeding him, but if he’s going to protect Sienna, he must do more than believe: he has to harness the incredible powers within him, and which have more than a little bit to do with the talisman around his neck.
Knights of the Zodiac is adapted from a manga series called Saint Seiya, and it shows. The Japanese influence is obvious, not only in the visual design and awkward character names, but also in the dynamic choreography and cinematography. Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly a high budget outing, and the combination of dramatic Japanese style with sloppy Western production values ends up making this production feel like a glorified Power Rangers movie from time to time. That said, when it all comes together (which it does in a handful of scenes), it works.
Despite a surprisingly capable cast, the writing can’t stop reminding you of all the scenes it’s stealing from Star Wars. In fairness, Star Wars itself is a pretty faithful amalgam of other “Hero’s Journey” style stories, but you can see specific elements of the original Star Wars films all over this movie. Heck, Seiya’s magical and enigmatic tutor (Caitlin Hutson) basically gives him the “luminous beings are we” speech from Empire Strikes Back. It’s a good scene to crib, but it’s also pretty obvious.
All that being said, I don’t think the tweens and teens this film is aimed at are going to care much if the acting gets a little wooden or the dialogue gets a little expository. They’re going to appreciate the high impact fights, which are about as violent as your average Marvel movie but much more dynamic. Parents who might not be thrilled about the lower quality of the film’s narrative elements will be relieved to hear that, beat-em-up violence aside, the show barely ranks in any other content category. Knights of the Zodiac might not be aiming for an Academy Award, but it makes for relatively innocuous, family-appropriate entertainment.
Directed by Tomasz Baginski. Starring Madison Iseman, Famke Janssen, Sean Bean. Running time: 112 minutes. Theatrical release May 12, 2023. Updated May 11, 2023
Watch the trailer for Knights of the Zodiac
Knights of the Zodiac
Rating & Content Info
Why is Knights of the Zodiac rated PG-13? Knights of the Zodiac is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for action/violence.
Violence: People are frequently beaten up or injured by magical blasts. Several characters are presumably killed in an explosion. Individuals are also occasionally shot, and one character is impaled with a piece of debris. One person is voluntarily subjected to a dangerous and clearly painful medical procedure. There are references to torture.
Sexual Content: None.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult background characters are briefly seen drinking, and one adult character smokes a cigar in one scene.
Page last updated May 11, 2023
Knights of the Zodiac Parents' Guide
How do you think you would react if you learned that you had unusual powers? Do you think it would be exciting or terrifying? What kind of powers would you like to have? Why? What would you do with them
Related home video titles:
If you don’t mind adding a little camp, you might actually enjoy Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once and Always. Some more kid-focused high-energy fun can be found in films like Cosmoball, or Alita: Battle Angel. An actual anime option might be Bubble. Sean Bean also had a role in the similarly strange film Jupiter Ascending. Greek gods appear in Wonder Woman and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.