Virgin Territory

2007

 “Star Wars” prequel star Hayden Christensen trades in his lightsaber for a sword (or two) in “Virgin Territory,” which takes place not in a galaxy far, far away, from a time long, long ago: the 14th century, to be exact.

While the Black Plague virus spreads across Italy, Christensen’s Lorenzo di Lamberti spreads his seed all over the countryside, taking the virginity (oh, I get it “” the title’s a pun!) of various heretofore virtuous girls. Naturally, the one who resists his roguish charms (Mischa Barton, TV’s “The O.C.”) is the one whose heart actually flutters for him, although a couple of others guys have something to say about that, including the film’s villain, Gerbino (Tim Roth, “The Incredible Hulk”).

 

While “Virgin Territory” certainly is livelier than other costume-heavy period pieces, its tonal schizophrenia makes for jarring viewing. Is it supposed to a baudy but ultimately high-minded love story or a down-and-dirty sex romp? It wants to be both. The scenery is pretty (and not just the Italian locations, but the oft-undressed maidens as well), but the story is meandering, and therefore, tedious. One wonders what drew someone of Roth’s stature to such a project, other than a free trip.

The first of Anchor Bay’s “Unzipped Collection,” the movie comes with “censored scenes of sexuality” as an extra, but that’s stretching it since technically, they’re in the movie in finished form.

“”Rod Lott

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