Top critical review
One trick that doesn't need repeating
on 13 October 2017
Interesting plot sees cult leader Nix, a magician to some but who has crossed the boundaries into more than magic and has some serious powers hellbent on destruction. His former students return to his hideout and kill him, but death in horror is just the beginning. Meanwhile a private investigator is on the case of an insurance scam- this story falls apart when he takes on the job of finding out more about Nix and his beloved student Swann, a master magician. Swann and the followers know that Nix isn't really dead and will be resurrected. Whew, so there you go. In truth Lord of Illusions is a pretty good film for the first 40 minutes but it soon falls apart and unravels in the second half a movie full of cliches. When Nix for example finally comes back he gives one of the longest speeches in movie history, and instead of his promise to kill the world, spends his limited time with a wooden script.
There is nothing wrong with Clive Barkers direction, but his script is full of holes and it all just feels rather spoon fed. Sure the use of a decent soundtrack does help and Scott Bakula does his best to give in a decent performance as hero/investigator but he comes over as if he is challenging Bruce Willis. By the end, and this movie is almost 2 hours long it's all rather a bit of a yawn, a better script and 30 minutes chopped off would have helped. Barker then remains an enigma at least in the world of movies, having only directed 4 features lengths, one being of course the classic HELLRAISER, he hasn't gone behind the lens since 1998, and it's movies like this that you can see why.