The Reel Review
A group of monks in early 13th century Ireland are tasked with the dangerous journey of delivering a sacred relic to Rome across the nation’s pagan-controlled countryside in this 2017 action/adventure starring Tom Holland (Spider-man) and Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead). The relic is believed to possess the power to turn the tide of the Crusades in Jerusalem, IF it makes the journey.
The original script from Jamie Hannigan is particularly interesting for history buffs, with a cast clearly committed to making a serious movie about a country and time period that frankly hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in film. This is evidenced by a compelling story, accurate costuming and dialogue in Irish, English, French, and Latin. But don’t be mistaken – Pilgrimage is not a dry history lesson. It has lots of thrilling action and a healthy dose of shockingly gruesome violence, set to the gorgeous backdrop of the Irish countryside.
Holland, in one of his earlier acting roles, is excellent as the young monk who questions his faith as a results of the story’s moral challenges, as is Stanley Weber as the morally murky, unlikable envoy from Rome, and Bernthal as The Mute, the mysterious servant turned ass-kicking warrior.
• During filming, Tom Holland and Jon Bernthal were both sending audition tapes to Marvel for the respective roles they would later win to play Spider-Man and The Punisher.
• Jon Berthal practiced not speaking for weeks prior to filming. So method!
• Pilgrimage was shot in Western Ireland and Belgium.