The epic tale of Tristan and Isolde is probably best known as the opera by Richard Wagner. Written for screen by Dean Georgaris, whose previous scripts include Lara Croft Tombraider, it's produced by brothers Ridley and Tony Scott and stars James Franco and Sophia Myles as the doomed lovers. It's the early dark ages and Irish King Donnchadh (David Patrick O'Hara), maintains a violent stranglehold over the warlords of England. Lord Marke (Rufus Sewell) aims to depose the Irish, by uniting the English tribes. When Marke's greatest Knight, Tristan (Franco) is wounded in battle, he's assumed dead and his funeral boat lands on the Irish shore. There he's cared for secretly by Princess Isolde (Myles), who never reveals her true identity. The Irish King hatches a plan to further divide the English tribes by making his daughter a prize in a tournament. Tristan wins, not realising he has won Isolde for Lord Marke. This grand story of star-crossed lovers has been retold countless times in art, but the film never quite lives up to its epic potential. It's almost like the Scott's are trying to produce the perfect swordfighting epic. Starting with Gladiator, then Kingdom of Heaven and now the Dark Ages. But one of the things that made Gladiator so successful was because Ridley Scott didn't shy away from the blood and the grittiness of the battles. Here, Director Kevin Reynolds, of Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves fames, is far too concerned with making this story safe and palatable. He's trying to appeal to too many people, aiming for both a teen / date audience and to those keen to see an historical epic. These elements don't gel well together, both tussling for position in the storyline. The other main problems are a mixture of feeble dialogue and casting. A serious lack of chemistry between James Franco and Sophia Myles, makes it impossible to believe they would betray so many for their love and Franco's perpetually petulant demeanor is tiresome. The script is hinged on the audience, wanting these lovers to find love together, but it's difficult when you prefer the other man to the hero. Rufus Sewell's Lord Marke's, is a far more interesting, well formed character than Franco's, Tristan and Sewell steals every scene. The Production design and careful cinematography is impressive, vividly recreating the atmosphere of the era. But fierce battles and a bit of fake blood, can't conceal that Kevin Reynolds has directed an unremarkable melodrama. The film is tolerable, but only just'