Johnson plays Imogen, the daughter of Cymbeline, (Ed Harris), a vicious drug lord and head of a biker gang.
Penn Badgley plays her husband Posthumus and Ethan Hawke plays his friend Iachimo, who figures in much of the treachery.
In the Shakespeare tragedy, Cymbeline is a King in ancient Britain. Imogen is in love with Posthumus, a member of the court. They stage a secret wedding and her father banishes Posthumus when he finds out.
The Queen, who is Cymbeline’s second wife, plots to do away with him. She wants her cloddish son, Cloten (Anton Yelchin), to marry Imogen so he can inherit the throne.
She provokes a war with Britain’s Roman overlords, hoping Cymbeline will be defeated and killed. But his two sons, who were kidnapped in infancy and thought to be dead, return with Posthumus and beat back the Romans.
The play is widely interpreted to be a muddled love story and is not considered one of Shakespeare’s best works. Critics have panned the movie for the same reason. It fails to clear up inconsistencies in the play.
The movie, directed by Michael Almereyda, pits Cymbeline’s outlaw biker gang against a band of corrupt cops. Cymbeline’s sons are played by Spencer Treat Clark and Harley Ware. Mila Jovovich plans the “Queen.”
For of the five critics who have seen the film have panned it. The lone positive review comes from trade rag Variety.
Johnson should help moviegoers get over any trepidation about the film. “50 Shades of Grey” was the biggest grossing film of President’s Day weekend in the history of cinema.
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