Nomad

 
Awkward casting, dubbing mar violent Kazakh tale.
  • Review Date: September 24, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Warriors and rulers believe in "destiny" but still try very hard to avoid it by killing children and other enemies; the Kazakh tribes are unified at last, following several bloody, costly battles.

Violence

Several battle scenes are made "artistic" by dissolves and slow motion, but they still show brutal clashes between 18th-century armies. Horses crash and fall; weapons include spears, arrows, shields, swords, knives, and cannons; scenes show blood, dismemberment, and decapitation. Warriors attack a caravan carrying a mother and child, killing the mother (her body is off screen, but stabbing thrusts are visible). A woman attempts to poison her son's killer. A prisoner is put on display as an "unbeatable" warrior, chained to a post while he kills opponents. A fight between two prisoners in masks is fierce and bloody, ending with one friend dying in another's very bloody arms.

Sex

Flirting and brief kiss between principal characters; Khan's daughter tries to blackmail a prisoner into marrying her.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking at celebrations.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this English-dubbed action movie set in 1700s Kazakhstan is very bloody, with fights between armies as well as individuals wielding swords, spears, and arrows. Violence includes dismemberment, bloody wounds, and decapitation (heads are displayed as trophies). A vengeful mother insists that her son's murderer be killed; when he isn't, she attempts to poison him. All of the fighting results in bloody bodies and vows of vengeance.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Set in 18th-century Kazakhstan, this French-Kazakh co-production tells the story -- more or less -- of the Ablai Khan, a brilliant warrior who united the fractious Kazakh tribes against the brutal Jungar ruler Galdan (Doshkan Zholzhaxynov). As pronounced by Oraz (Jason Scott Lee), the prophecy holds that the Abali Khan will be born soon -- and lo, there he is, saved by Oraz from certain death as an infant, the raised as a mighty warrior named Mansur (Kuno Becker). The path of "the child of the prophecy" involves sacrifice: His mother dies when he's an infant, and his battles take tolls on his friends -- warrior Erali (Jay Hernandez) and spunky girl Gaukhar (Ayana Yesmagambetova). The boys both fall in love with the girl, though Mansur appears to have the upper hand. It's not long before Mansur must prove himself. He clashes with vengeance-minded Sharish (Mark Dacascos), performs amazing horse-riding tricks, saves his girl from captivity, and eventually leads his adoring men into a ferocious battle.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If the movie's general description sounds conventional, its execution is troubling in a number of ways. First, for its U.S. release, the film has been dubbed into English, which is distracting because the lip movements and language don't match in the slightest. Worse -- and much stranger -- the principal men are Western actors (Los Angelean Hernandez, Mexico City-born Becker, and L.A.-born Lee, who's of Hawaiian and Chinese descent), while all villains, women, and extras are distinctly Asian. The Westerners are pretty enough, but they stand out by not looking like anyone else they're destined to save.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how foreign movies are perceived by U.S. audiences. What assumptions do people make about films from other countries? Do those assumptions depend on the type of movie it is? Is a foreign action movie more attractive to general audiences than a foreign drama? Why or why not? Families can also discuss the movie's take on destiny. Why do characters who believe in predestination still try to subvert it? Does accepting destiny lead to peace or sorrow in the movie? Why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 30, 2007
DVD release date:July 24, 2007
Cast:Jason Scott Lee, Jay Hernandez, Kuno Becker
Directors:Ivan Passer, Sergei Bodrov
Studio:Weinstein Co.
Genre:Drama
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence.

This review of Nomad was written by

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  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 17 year old Written bykokita11 January 4, 2011
age 15+
 

teen

havnt seen it yet
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages

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