From The Screenwriter Behind GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEAGE And MAN OF STEEL!! What Make The Critics Of Starz Hourlong DA VINCI’S DEMONS??
“Da Vinci’s Demons” is a new Starz series that follows the adventures of artist-writer-architect-engineer-geologist- botanist-mathematician-inventor Leonardo Da Vinci as he uses his martial arts and swashbuckling skills to fight crime in 15th century Italy.
This new series comes to us from the prolific David Goyer, who earlier masterminded the one-season wonders “Threshold,” “FlashForward” and “Blade: The Series,” and has done a lot of superhero work, scripting or co-scripting both “Ghost Rider” movies and all three “Blade” movies, as well as the 1998 David Hasselhoff TV-movie “Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD,” “The Crow: City of Angels,” “Batman Begins” and the upcoming “Man of Steel.” He shared “story” credit on both “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises” and, as a big-screen writer-director, Goyer’s credits include “Zig Zag,” “Blade: Trinity” and “The Unborn.”
... doesn't resemble Albrecht's old HBO output so much as it does '90s syndicated action dramas like "Xena: Warrior Princess" — albeit made on a much bigger budget and with lots of Starz-approved language and nakedness. … Like most of Goyer's solo creations, the show has more ideas than it knows quite what to do with; his best work tends to come with strong collaborators who pare Goyer's vision down to something manageable. The premiere episode is so overstuffed with incident, conspiracy and expository dialogue as to almost feel like parody, but the show settles down a bit in later hours. …
... glossy, silly, intermittently entertaining … Viewers face a slog right away in the opening episode, which has to set up not only the “Book of Leaves” story but also the demons in Leonardo’s past (annoying flashbacks and visions of his faceless mother) and the semi-historical rivalry between Florence and the Vatican, in which Leonardo is of course embroiled. …
... prefers to flaunt rather than follow, flagrantly borrowing from film, television and video games to create something new, inarguably flawed, possibly revolutionary and certainly fun to watch. …
... Historical accuracy is only hit-and-miss in Da Vinci's Demons. And that describes how entertaining it is too: More miss than hit, but it does grow on you. …
... plucky and occasionally fun … heads off in a lot of different directions, as our easily distracted Renaissance Man, Leonardo, discovers from a wayward mystic that he’s part of a kooky lineage of supergeniuses. This part of the plot puts Leonardo in the dangerously ho-hum genre of shows about differently abled sleuths who see details others don’t and whose minds run off high-speed broadband while the simpletons around them remain strictly dial-up. But Riley takes the role of Leonardo for a real joyride, giving “Da Vinci’s Demons” a spark of invention it would otherwise lack.
… Please. Give me something resembling coherent dialogue and plot. ... If Mr. Goyer fumbles the pilot in introducing Leonardo's world, he salvages the endeavor in episode two with a good story about da Vinci's inventions for the Medicis.…
... The plot strands don’t always come together smoothly, some of da Vinci’s mystical, drug-addled visions are pretentious, and the CGI re-creating 15th-century Florence is spotty. And the general tone of the show will not satisfy anyone looking for a serious take on a historical figure or era. But “Da Vinci’s Demons” is an entertaining series with one huge factor working in its favor: Unlike so much of what we see on TV lineups, it aims to be different.
... Some no doubt will say Da Vinci’s Demons is too slight or glossy. And while it might not be as serious-minded as Game of Thrones, it’s also not too distant a cousin. There’s a lot of material to mine here, and Goyer, Starz and Da Vinci’s Demons are off to an entertaining start. …
... Granted, Tom Riley’s anachronistic Da Vinci feels as much like a Silicon Valley eccentric as a 15th-century artist/inventor, but the show is still a good deal of fun, while indulging in all the lusty debauchery one has come to expect from period cable dramas. …
10 p.m. Friday. Starz.
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