Reclaiming the Blade is a documentary about an interesting subject: the sword, its place in history and culture, and a rediscovery of the martial arts of the western world in which the sword played a central role. In the hands of a superior documentary filmmaker, it could have been brilliant, but alas, it is not. Apparently made with an ADHD audience in mind, it assails the viewer with wholly unnecessary and uninformative computer graphics, presents multiple rapid sequences of snippets of fight scenes from movies and re-enactments, and allows numerous interviewees to repeat themselves endlessly about points that are further beaten to death by narrator John Rhys-Davies, whose voice is frequently drowned out by the bland yet bombastic music.
There are good points, such as the interviews with legendary fight choreographer Bob Anderson and actor Viggo Mortensen, but they should have been longer. An entire documentary could focus on Anderson alone and his contributions to, and observations about, swordplay in motion pictures. The subject of the loss and rebirth of the European martial arts traditions is certainly worth another documentary, which could discuss in greater detail the authors of the various instruction manuals of the Renaissance and show the progress that has been made in relearning these forgotten combat techniques in a more comprehensive and systematic manner than the MTV-style editing and camerawork favored by writer/director Daniel McNicoll. The forging of swords, in history and the present, also lends itself to a documentary of its own.
Reclaiming the Blade is flawed, and I would prefer to see its subjects explored by more serious, scholarly, and experienced filmmakers, but it has its merits if one is willing to see past the dross.