‘THE OATH’ Review | Budget History Channel

Not every movie has to have a massive budget to be good, or even a well-known distributor. Unfortunately, The Oath, a dream project from writer/director/actor Darin Scott, would have benefited greatly from both. The film releases in select theaters this weekend, and while not the worst movie you’ve ever seen, there’s very little to make a compelling case to leave your house and watch it.

The Oath is based on the events in the Book of Mormon. For some, that alone is enough to pass on the film, but in a vacuum there’s nothing overtly Mormon about The Oath. The overarching story is actually somewhat similar to that of the Ridley Scott film, Gladiator. Although the two Scotts are not related, their films certainly could be. However, the loose story similarity is where that relation comes to an end.

This is a relatively low budget film that can’t be directly compared to something like Gladiator beyond the story. Even if we look at The Oath from the perspective of a low budget independent project, it’s only barely passable. The camera work is shoddy, the editing is rough, there’s an overuse of slow motion for dramatic effect (that doesn’t work), and the story isn’t particularly engaging.

Billy Zane, Darin Scott, The Oath

The acting is the best part about The Oath, but even that is just slightly above amateur levels thanks to a lackluster script. The whole thing feels more like a History Channel docu-drama, than an actual film of any real worth. In fact, a bulk of the film takes place inside a cave with two people talking. This predictably leads to them falling in love, but it’s not even remotely entertaining.

Perhaps The Oath would appeal more to Mormons, or fans of religious films. The production value and story are much more in line with religious theatrical releases than more mainstream films. For the general audience, there isn’t much here to grasp on to. The story was boring, the acting was rough, and the whole thing feels just a step above a fan-made film.

We’ll give Darin Scott credit for working the last 10 years to get this project made, but the end result is lackluster at best. It’s likely Scott had to compromise his original scope due to budgetary constraints. Taking those limitations into consideration, he did an admirable job, but it’s not enough to move the needle.

About The Oath

Synopsis: 400 A.D., in a forgotten time of Ancient America, a lone Hebraic fugitive must preserve the history of his fallen nation while being hunted by a ruthless tyrant. But rescuing the King’s abused mistress could awaken a warrior’s past.

Director: Darin Scott

Writers: Darin Scott, Michelle Scott

Stars: Darin Scott, Billy Zane, Eugene Brave Rock

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1 Hour, 44 Minutes

Billy Zane, Darin Scott, The Oath

Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.

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