This epic Lucasfilm fantasy serves up enough magical adventure to satisfy fans of the genre, though it treads familiar territory. With abundant parallels to Star Wars, the story (by George Lucas) follows the exploits of the little farmer Willow (Warwick Davis), an aspiring sorcerer appointed to deliver an infant princess from the evil queen (Jean Marsh) to whom the child is a crucial threat.
Val Kilmer plays the warrior who joins Willow's campaign with the evil queen's daughter (Joanne Whalley, who later married Kilmer). Impressive production values, stunning locations (in England, Wales, and New Zealand) and dazzling special effects energize the routine fantasy plot, which alternates between rousing action and cute sentiment while failing to engage the viewer's emotions. A parental warning is appropriate director Ron Howard has a light touch aimed at younger viewers, but doesn't shy away from grisly swordplay and at least one monster (a wicked two-headed dragon) that could induce nightmares. --Jeff Shannon
show more show less